While it is difficult to see beyond the current economic crisis, some reshuffling of global economic power is inevitable. On May 15, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings hosted Latvian President Valdis Zatlers for a discussion of the increased importance of the transatlantic partnership in the years ahead. President Zatlers discussed Latvia’s future role in NATO and the European Union, as well as the bilateral partnership with the United States. President Zatlers also discussed the economic slowdown’s impact on eastern European economies and political environments, and specifically the opportunities and challenges as seen from Latvia.
Following a successful career as an orthopedic surgeon, Valdis Zatlers was elected president of Latvia in May 2007. He is the third president of Latvia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Carlos Pascual, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, provided introductory remarks. Steven Pifer, CUSE visiting fellow, moderated the discussion. After his remarks, President Zatlers took audience questions.