EU deputy ambassador: Brexit shouldn’t affect trade relationships between US and Europe


{ ABOVE: EACC-C board of directors with Deputy Ambassador Vicini }

By Molly Gunson | Smoak Public Relations
Photography by David Poleski

The European American Chamber of Commerce-Carolinas (EACC-C) hosted a reception to announce the organization’s launch featuring remarks by Deputy Ambassador Caroline Vicini, the deputy head of the delegation of the European Union to the United States. Madam Deputy Ambassador Vicini is the second-in-command of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, overseeing the daily management of the delegation and stepping in when the ambassador is absent.


Why the EACC, why Greenville and why now?


Victoria Kirby, the executive director of the EACC-C, introduced Deputy Ambassador Vicini and briefly touched on the mission and vision of the EACC as well as the reasoning behind bringing the organization’s Carolinas headquarters to Greenville. The EU has made significant investments in the U.S., specifically here in the Carolinas, and the EACC-C will work to continue building on those relationships. Greenville was selected ahead of other cities such as Charlotte, N.C., or Raleigh, N.C., because “it is a progressive, growing city with a business climate that was a perfect match for a branch of the EACC,” explained Kirby.

The EACC-C will work collaboratively with other local organizations including the Greenville Area Development Corporation, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the Upstate Alliance to work as a facilitator to grow relationships with European companies to stimulate economic development and job creation in both North and South Carolina.

Deputy Ambassador Vicini addressing the crowd

A momentous time for Europe and the world


Deputy Ambassador Vicini opened by acknowledging the challenges presented by current events like the refugee crisis, acts of terrorism and Brexit. “While others may have written off the EU, we have exhibited resilience and demonstrated resolve in these times,” noted Vicini. After a fourth consecutive year of moderate recovery and growth, the EU is moving forward and putting a painful chapter behind itself.

From left: Howard Daniel, EACC-C board chairman; Victoria Kirby, EACC-C executive director; Jim Rosener, EACC-New York president

Moving forward after Brexit


While the full scope of the implications of Brexit is still unknown, Vicini says, “The EU is not a fair-weather project. The integrity and resolve of the EU remains strong.” The U.K. has made it clear that they desire a close relationship with the EU, and the other 27 member states agree with this. Until the U.K. issues their formal intention to leave the EU, they will continue acting as a full member, abiding by the laws and policies of the EU. After the formal intention is issued, there will be a period of time dedicated to negotiating the U.K.’s exit and future relationship between the EU and U.K.

Deputy Ambassador Vicini speaking with two guests

TTIP and the Upstate


“The EU and U.S. rely on our interdependence as two of the world’s strongest economies,” explained Madam Deputy Ambassador Vicini. She continued on by citing that the EU is committed to transatlantic trade, and a high standard trade agreement like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) can affect the entire world if negotiated correctly. As South Carolina’s largest export market, a favorable trade agreement with Europe has the potential to significantly increase foreign trade investment, foreign exports and job creation across the Carolinas. Vicini believes the enormous opportunities presented by reduced barriers to trade and investment would be favorable to parties on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The EU and U.S. will remain friends of first resort,” Vicini said in closing. “We will tackle global issues together.”

The European American Chamber of Commerce Carolinas is an independent membership organization dedicated to stimulating business and networking relations between Europe and the Carolinas region (North and South Carolina). EACC – Carolinas provides educational offerings, business seminars and other events to promote relationship building and information sharing among business, government and economic development/trade organizations. EACC – Carolinas is business-led, but works in partnership with government and nonprofit entities. The EACC network offers members transatlantic relations and business opportunities, trade and investment opportunities and business insights and thought leadership.



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