Telephonic Press Briefing Hosted by the Brussels Media Hub and U.S. Embassy Budapest

Press Availability
William R. Brownfield
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Budapest, Hungary
July 17, 2015

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: [start of recording delayed] -– and support for rule of law programs. I am here specifically as the United States representative to the 20th Anniversary of the International Law Enforcement Academy, here in Budapest -- once the only ILEA in the world, now one of five with its sister academies in Bangkok, Gaborone, San Salvador and, yes, Roswell, New Mexico in the United States where I have been two times and have never found an alien during either of those two trips.

May I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that the ILEA here in Budapest is a true success story. Over the past 20 years, 21,000 Central and Eastern European police and law enforcement officials studied in and graduated from the ILEA of a total of 55,000 around the world. The ILEA was based upon three fundamental principles, the first being support for institutions and law enforcement institution building around the world. Second, strengthening police capabilities, and third, building cooperation among law enforcement organizations throughout the world.

It is a success story, and that is important because, ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you crime, and transnational organized crime, has not disappeared over the last 20 years. The ILEA is as important today as it was in 1995 when the first one was established.

May I offer a few other thoughts and then turn this over to you. While I am here specifically for the ILEA anniversary, we do a great deal of other work around the world, some of which you may be unaware of. We are very much engaged in international efforts to combat cybercrime, one of the great threats of the 21st Century.

For the past two years, we have been actively involved in combatting wildlife trafficking -– as we focus so much on drug trafficking or firearms trafficking or even trafficking in persons, we forget perhaps that there are criminal organizations that are systematically exterminating entire species of animals around the world.

I leave Budapest, I will go to Ukraine, and there I will visit and have the opportunity to observe programs that we have worked cooperatively with the Ukrainian government in building and establishing a new national patrol police force. Or the work we have done with the Ukrainian border guard service.

We will discuss here or elsewhere in Europe our efforts far away in Afghanistan to address the Afghan heroin problem, which is not necessarily a problem for the United States, where we calculate only four percent of the heroin consumed in the United States comes from Afghanistan. But a very serious problem here in Central and Western Europe where our calculation is 90 percent or more of its heroin comes from Afghanistan. I am managing the United States’ efforts to address international drug reform and the fact that the United Nations will hold a special session on this matter in April of next year.

And finally, for your interest, we are very much engaged in a major effort in Central America to address the issue of cocaine that flows from South America north to the United States, a matter of some interest perhaps here in Europe because to the extent that we are successful in stopping that flow, we increase the likelihood that the same trafficking organizations will shift their access from south-north to east-west as they search for additional markets.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I am doing. That is why I am here. I am delighted to be here with you. I relinquish the floor, and I turn this conversation over to you.

Moderator: Thanks so much, and thanks Assistant Secretary Brownfield. It’s so nice to have you with us today, and I would also like to thank all of the journalists who are there in the room and who have dialed in for this conversation.

Just a couple of really quick notes. We are going to go ahead and take your questions starting at this time. We will start with those of you in the room, and those of you who have dialed in, if you would like to get into the question queue, you should press “star-one” on your phone. And to do that you do have to take your phone off speakerphone, if you’ve got us on speaker. Again, that’s “star-one” to get into the question queue, and then we’ll come to your questions shortly.

Just as a reminder, today’s call is on the record and it is being recorded. With that, I will turn it back over to the team at Embassy Budapest and to Assistant Secretary Brownfield, and we look forward to the Q&A.

MTI: Hello. My name is [inaudible] from news agency MTI and my question is about this academy in Budapest. Twenty years ago, why was Budapest, why was Hungary chosen among the countries in the region?

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: Thank you. An excellent question because it is fundamentally the reason why I am here. And I will tell you a brief story. Twenty-two years ago, Mr. Bill Clinton became the President of the United States. At that time, the Director of the FBI was a gentleman named Louis Free.

You will recall, only vaguely because you were a young child at the time, although I was a fully grown adult. You will recall that this is a time of tremendous transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Old systems were changing, old relationships were changing, and Mr. Louis Free, and I mention him by name because he was here yesterday and last night for the celebratory dinner on the 20th Anniversary. Mr. Free concluded that what law enforcement around the world needed was an institution, a mechanism by which they could cooperate. And there were great opportunities for cooperation between the United States and its law enforcement organization and newly emerging states in the international community from Central and Eastern Europe. He convinced the President of the United States of this at that time, and in 1995 President Clinton announced to the United Nations during his annual address at the General Assembly, that we would support a series of ILEAs around the world.

The question then became where do we start? And while I ask you to think back to a history of 20 years ago, one government more than any other said that they would be interested in hosting such an academy. That government was that of the Republic of Hungary. And in fact may I say that they have supported it exceptionally well.

As I said during my toast at dinner last night hosted by the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Hungary, when other governments said maybe, the Hungarian government said yes. When other governments said perhaps tomorrow, the Hungarian government said, we’ll do it now.

It is a success story largely because of the efforts of and the support by the Ministry of Interior of the government of Hungary, and I want to be very clear on that point. On matters of law enforcement and law enforcement cooperation I have the highest praise for the government of Hungary.

Mandiner: Good morning. My name is Akos Balogh. I’m from Mandiner.

My question is related to Ukraine and to your program in Ukraine. What is your experience with the police, how the police works in Ukraine? Because for example in the last days what happened in Mukacheve and the surrounding region, like the right sector, extreme right wing party’s militia is setting up checkpoints, road checkpoints and such things against the police and against the army. Doesn’t it look like a classical example of a failed state? Do you think that the Ukraine state will be controlling all this situation in the near future?

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: You ask a very fair but a very complicated question. I will offer several parts in my response.

First, and the simplest part of my response as Assistant Secretary is to say that of course the government of Ukraine does not and at present cannot control substantial amounts of its national territory. It has no control whatsoever in the Crimean region and it has very limited control in sectors of Eastern Ukraine.

This in turn, and this becomes the second part of my response, suggests that Ukraine confronts a very complicated situation right now. And it is complicated by several factors. One of them is external and that is the clear and obvious efforts by one non-Ukrainian actor to have an impact on events that transpire within Ukraine. That is a diplomatic way of describing a situation that everyone around this table and everyone listening in on this conversation is aware of what I am saying.

Second, the Ukrainian state has inherited a law enforcement community that in their own words did not work well or effectively. It was to all intents and purposes the same law enforcement institution that had been operating in the Republic of Ukraine since before the breakup of the former Soviet Union.

The conclusion appears to be unanimous that whatever you may think of the politics, external actors or the economy, that the police were not working well.

We are now working with the government of Ukraine to support their own efforts to reform their national police institutions. Their approach, and there are many ways -- I have been involved in this business for more than 20 years. There are many ways to reform a police institution. The government of Ukraine has chosen to replace their police with brand new units and personnel. Selected, tested, vetted, trained and equipped. And as they are ready to deploy then the old police are discharged and are separated from their policing functions.

This takes time and it is clear that you cannot do this sort of wholesale change overnight.

On Tuesday of next week I will be in the city of Odessa. In Odessa I will be present for the ceremony for the swap-out of the old police with the newly trained police. We are proud of the newly trained police. We have worked with them through superb trainers from our state of California and the California Highway Patrol in terms of this training and in terms of this equipment. But I have to tell you and all of your listeners, that we, I ask that you not hold us to a standard of seeing nirvana and paradise arrive in 24 hours. Any new police institution requires time to understand their communities and their people, to understand what is the nature of the threats they are confronting, to understand what equipment perhaps that they do not have that they wish to have, to develop their own internal investigatory and inspector general mechanisms, to determine who among them perhaps should not be among them. These are questions that proper senior police officials should be asking at all times.

Do I believe that Ukraine still has police issues and perhaps problems? Yes, of course I do. Do I believe, however, that the government of Ukraine is making serious and systematic effort to address those problems? I most assuredly do.

AP: Pablo Gorondi from Associated Press.

I’d like to stay on this issue of Ukraine. How would you evaluate the relationship of trust between normal citizens and the police? Is this something that you think can be developed, or where does it stand now? And regarding the police that is being substituted, idle hands, what happens to those people who are no longer in the force?

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: Very good questions. The first question I will give you the answer that I hope you would expect and certainly want me to give you. That is the impression that we have, Odessa will be the fourth of the major oblasts that will have swapped out their old police for their new police. And I can say that our analysis is absolute and categorical that where the new police have arrived they are being very well received by the local communities. Where the old police are still managing the relationship with the communities is unchanged for shall we say 50 years. I see that as promising, but I also see it as should you as a test period.

The honeymoon is always the easiest part in any relationship. It is once the honeymoon concludes and the regular day-to-day living begins that we will truly test how successful the new police are. But at least so far I would suggest that the evidence that is before us indicates a positive outcome with the new police.

You had a second question, which --

AP: The idle hands --

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: That is, in many ways that is the most potentially sensitive element of this entire effort. Remember, not only are they old hands, they are frequently still armed hands, and they have some organizational structure that remains with them as well as an institutional presence in communities throughout the Republic.

The Ukrainian government’s effort is to ensure that they are not merely dismissed and pushed out onto the streets. They are in fact retired from government service. They receive a pension to give them some income, although the expectation would be they would find alternative employment elsewhere. They would not have any law enforcement authority.

And the hope is those who in fact are truly good and qualified who wish to remain in law enforcement will have the opportunity to apply for and then process through exactly the same training system that the other new cadets have gone through. Those that are found as unfortunately the majority, have been found so far, to have committed abuses or engaged in corruption or forms of bribery will not be welcomed back into the national patrol police. And at the end of the day we will see if this is sufficient to prevent them from becoming an issue.

If they do become an issue, at that point they are dealing with a better trained, better equipped and better paid national police institution in the form of the patrol police.

Again, we’re in the early days of this. You have correctly pointed to one of the issues that we have to watch carefully, but I believe the government has thought the issue through.

Nepszabadsag: Andras Desi from the daily newspaper Nepszabadsag.

Sir, you have very rich experiences in South America. I wonder if you compare the situation in Ukraine to South America, to Colombia for example, do you -- How do you assess the situation?

And the second question is, the Ukrainian government is starting with the [inaudible] patrol, so when does it come to the criminal police reform?

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: I will start with the second question first, and you have correctly noted that the government of Ukraine has determined to start first with what we call community policing. Those police that are engaged every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are operating directly in the communities and engaging with the citizens of the community. The government of Ukraine, decided and I agree completely, that that was the most important first step in terms of convincing the people of the Republic of Ukraine that the police were going to be a different institution than they had been for the preceding 50 years.

The government also concluded, correctly in my opinion, that they could not do all things immediately and they started with community policing.

So the answer to the question when will more specialized elements of the national policing institutions be reformed, trained, replaced, that will occur as the government of Ukraine completes its process of the reform and overhaul of its community policing capabilities.

Colombia. You are all smart men and women. We all know we should be careful about trying to apply the lessons of one country or one region upon a different country or a different region. The truth is, Colombia and Ukraine are very different countries with very different experiences.

I suppose you could say they had some things in common. The Colombian National Police, it maintained its institutional integrity even during the most dangerous times of the 1980s and the 1990s when both gigantic criminal organizations -- the Medellin and Cali drug cartels, and a large gorilla organization, the FARC, were attacking and systematically killing thousands of police officers every year.

The Ukrainian National Police never reached that degree of stress and pressure and as a consequence they -- The CNP, the Colombian National Police were able to reform from within in a way that the Ukrainian police structure, the government concluded required major replacement.

Colombia also never suffered from the external threat that Ukraine has suffered from. Their difficulties and problems were internal in nature, and that in turn generated a different solution.

Finally, the Colombian law enforcement and rule of law challenge was driven by what is largely traditional violent criminal activity. And that is a different challenge and challenge set from Ukraine’s, if you will, hollowed out structure in terms of its law enforcement and rule of law communities from corruption within the institution.

Are they both nations that suffered a tremendous challenge in terms of law enforcement and rule of law? Yes, they were. But they were different challenges and they required, in my opinion, different solutions.

May I conclude by saying I admire enormously both governments, but more important both peoples. The Colombian people and the Ukrainian people who have suffered a tremendous amount of stress, violence and breakdown of their law enforcement institutions. And through incredible courage and commitment and discipline in the case of Colombia they have built what is now, in my opinion, what is perhaps the finest police and law enforcement in all of Latin America, and there are some who would say in all of the Western Hemisphere. And in the case of Ukraine we see a people and a government that are clearly determined to change completely the police system that they have.

I would conclude by merely expressing my admiration for both governments and both peoples.

Voice: Mireille, I believe that’s the last of the first round of questions here from Budapest, so we’ll turn over to you as the moderator for the call-in portion.

Moderator: Great. Thanks so much, and we do have a couple of questions in the queue here.

For our first question we’re going to hope over to Romania and take a question from Dragos Vulvara-Sasu who is with the outlet Digi24.

Digi24: Hello, thank you very much, Mr. Assistant Secretary. I have two questions for you.

First of all, about rule of law and corruption in Romania. The chief of the government was charged last days by the anti-corruption prosecutors and I would like to ask you if this can affect the rule of law because he refused to step down.

And my second question is about recent events in Western Ukraine, the confrontation between the authorities and some organization. Also the Budapest highlights some concern about the situation in Romania also. What is your opinion about it? Thank you very much.

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: Thank you, Dragos. I will start with the first of your questions. In some ways it is the easiest, although I will give you a general response.

In Romania as in every country in the world, all 196 countries that are currently member states of the United Nations, corruption is an issue. My country is no exception to that whatsoever. In every state of the United States of America there are anti-corruption task forces established by state and federal government institutions where prosecutors and investigators are investigating allegations or accusations of corruption.

In Romania as in every government in the world, the question is has the government established a process and a mechanism and an institution to receive complaints and that evidence, and where appropriate, to hold accountable and even to prosecute those accused of corruption.

So the question that we should all be asking is not just is there corruption in this country, but rather, does the country have the institutions that allow it to address that corruption. You are far better placed to answer that question in Bucharest than am I, but I do urge you to ask the question of your institutions as opposed to the question simply of whether or not there is corruption.

On the matter of your questions on Ukraine, I will probably wait until I arrive in Ukraine before I offer any observations. I will repeat what I said earlier and that is Ukraine is a nation that confronts a very complicated set of challenges. The challenges involve external factors and internal factors. The challenges involve some matters that have been at the heart of the Ukrainian government and state for decades, long before they became an independent state in the international community. And challenges related to their own resources and the amount of funding available to them to address the problems and the challenges.

There will be times where some will disagree with decisions that they have made. There will be times when some will say that something should have been a higher priority. The media has both the right and the obligation to draw attention to those when in their judgment they believe the state or the government has made incorrect questions or incorrect decisions, but the media also has the obligation to assess all elements and to report all elements of the problem. That would be the way I will answer the question now.

If I see you in Odessa or Kyiv next week, I reserve the right to answer in a different way.

Moderator: Thank you for that.

For our next question we’re also going to stay in Romania. We’ve got a question coming to us from Andrei Popescu from Gandul.

Gandul: Actually I had the same question as my colleague before and I’ll try to rephrase it. I think we have the institutions in Romania to fight the crime and corruption, but such is the case we have a prime minister that is charged with corruption and he kind of ignores this institution and the charges brought to him. And he still runs the government.

How do you solve this situation? I mean how do you think this reflects on the effort to combat crime and corruption?

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: Andrei, since you’ve given me a second opportunity to answer the question I will give you a somewhat different response. I will say to you that in Romania as in every country in the world that has a constitutional form of government, the constitution, the magna carta, the system that the people of that country have decided to use for managing and governing themselves will have a mechanism by which members of the government can be accused, adjudicated and where appropriate held accountable for their acts committed while in government.

In some countries such as my own, that mechanism is known as impeachment and conviction. In other countries there may be other mechanisms. In some countries the judiciary makes the decisions. In other countries such as my own it is the national legislature which makes the decision if necessary and appropriate to remove a sitting member of government.

Now it is not appropriate for me or quite frankly anyone in my government to render a judgment on how another government’s constitutional system works. We do have a right, as does any government in the world, to say that we are all bound by our international obligations found in international conventions that we have voted for and ratified. Among those conventions are the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on Human Rights, and the UN Convention Against Corruption or UNCAC.

These are international obligations. These are obligations which go beyond the individual nation and state and allow, if you will, some degree of appeal to international fora. They should be used as infrequently as possible because we are today in 2015 still organized on this planet as a collection of nations. Each nation is sovereign and each nation determines how it will enforce its own laws and its own constitution.

That is probably not the answer that you are looking for, but it is the best answer that someone from outside of Romania can offer to you right now. It is not for me to assess how the institutions and how the constitution of the Republic of Romania are functioning. That is a matter for the Romanian people to decide.

I do have a right, as does any other government in the world, to express views as relate to international conventions adopted and ratified through the United Nations system.

Moderator: Thank you.

For our next question we’re going to hop over to Ukraine, and we’re going to take a question from Iryna Somer with the Ukrainian News Agency UNIAN.

UNIAN: Thank you very much. It’s extremely interesting what you are saying, sir.

I would like to come back to Ukrainian issue. You are talking about new police, but if I’m not mistaken everything starts with education. Is there any thought to reform police academy or to create some kind of ILEA in Ukraine? Thank you.

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: That’s a very good question, Iryna, and I will offer an observation that perhaps does not go as far as you wish, but it goes as far as I can go right now.

We have to start somewhere. We have a limited amount of resources available to us. By us I mean my part of the United States government, I mean the government of Ukraine and I mean the European Union and several other governments who are attempting to be supportive of this effort. That group concluded that the starting point should be overhauling most of the current members of the police institution in Ukraine.

Will there some day be a major program to overhaul the police education system? I hope so. But as the 16th President of the United States famously said, that was Abraham Lincoln by the way, and I will paraphrase him to some extent. He said you can make some people happy all the time all people happy some of the time, but you can’t make everybody happy all of the time.

I would paraphrase it to say we can do some things all of the time and maybe all things some of the time, but we can’t do all things all of the time. We have decided to start with the training and standing up of the patrol police. I very much hope we will then get to long term systematic reform of the police education system in Ukraine. When the Ukrainian government is ready and when the Ukrainian law enforcement community is prepared to move in that direction.

Will we see an ILEA in Ukraine? My own view is we have an excellent ILEA right here in Budapest. Many Ukrainian police officials have in fact attended the ILEA here and graduated from it.

My hope would be we can adjust, modify and perfect the ILEA here in Budapest in a way to deliver value for Ukrainian police and Ukrainian law enforcement for decades and decades to come.

Moderator: Thanks. We’ve got just one more question in the question queue at the moment, and that is coming to us from another Romanian outlet, from Romanian National TV and that is Alex Costache.

Romanian National TV: Mr. Ambassador, I am Alex Costache from Romanian National Television.

My question is, in our country in Romania the members of parliament, the ministers or former ministers, can’t be prosecuted or arrested without an approval for parliament or president. In the last time the parliament has not approved the prosecution of our prime minister for conflict of interest.

Another problem, the authority to recover only a small percentage of receipts of illegal activity, less ten percent, especially from persons convicted for corruption.

Some of the Romanians are very angry for these situations. What should the citizens do to face or combat this situation? Thank you.

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: Thank you, Alex. I will offer an observation on both of your questions but it will be careful because, once again, as you heard in my conversations with Dragos and with Andrei, it is not my role, it is not my right to express a view on how the Romanian people and their elected representatives enforce their own sovereign laws and their own constitution and constitutional system.

Romania has a parliament. The parliament under its own constitution has certain authorities. They are similar to the authorities found in the United States constitution and granted to the United States congress.

If you were to have asked me the same question about what to do in the United States if the United States congress declined to take steps to remove an individual who you believed to have been corrupt, I would have said the solution presumably would be to elect different members of congress who would be prepared to exercise their congressional role. That is what I would have answered were you to have asked me the same question in the United States of America.

But you are not asking me that question in the United States of America, you are asking me that question in Romania, and to you I must say it is up to you, the media and the citizens of Romania to determine how to deal with and respond to that constitutional issue in your own country.

You asked a second question, and on that I can be more forthcoming. That is the question of what to do about situations in which former government officials are believed to have profited through corruption and bribery and accumulated property, bank accounts or other resources, while they were in office. This is an area in which I am working as the Assistant Secretary of State for Drugs and Law Enforcement with many other governments around the world.

I had a question earlier on about the similarities between Colombia and Ukraine, and I will say Colombia is an example of a country who has addressed this issue very aggressively. Most countries’ legal systems permit the seizure and confiscation of assets that were acquired as a result of criminal activity. It’s a very good system. It accomplishes several objectives.

First, it removes assets and property from criminals, because that is what a government official who has profited by corruption is. He is or she is a criminal. So you remove the property from the criminal via a judicial process. Not confiscation, but rather a judicial process by which a court in an open and transparent manner concludes the property was acquired illegally and illicitly.

The second good thing you accomplish is you add to the resources of the state. Frequently, in many countries and mine is one of them, the law enforcement authorities are able to receive if not all at least a percentage of the seized and confiscated property. So you not only remove assets from organized crime, you add assets to the good guys, and that is to say the law enforcement community that is combating organized crime.

This is an area where we and my very good friends in the U.S. Department of Justice are cooperating with a number of countries. We have programs whereby we train, we educate, and at times we even engage in joint investigations in order to identify, build evidence, and eventually prosecute cases for seizure and confiscation. This is an area that I think richly deserves more effort and more attention.

One of my friends in the Department of State, the Assistant Secretary for Human Rights, Democracy and Labor, frequently says to me somewhat critically, that the way the system is structured today, the assets are seized as a kind of exit tax for corrupt officials as they leave office. And he would vastly prefer that the seizures occur while the individual is still in office to send a clearer message. I agree with him, although as is usually the case, it’s easier to say than to do.

Moderator: Thank you. I don’t see any other questions in our queue at this time so I’m going to turn it back over to you in Budapest.

Voice: Thank you, Mireille. I think we have one additional follow-up question.

Mandiner: A follow-up from Mandiner Hungary again.

What is your experience with the border control of the European Union? If we compare even the outer Schengen borders of the EU to the border control process of the United States, our borders are extremely open. Do you see or did you receive any ask for help from the European Union to have stronger control over these borders?

Assistant Secretary Brownfield: Brother, you’ve asked one of the most sensitive questions not just here in Europe and the European Union but in the United States as well. And I’ve been in the diplomatic business now for more than 36 years. I believe history flows like ocean waves. They go up, they go down. Issues are high priority, they’re a lower priority. Right now migration is unquestionably a very high priority issue both in Europe and in the United States.

It is not obviously my right or responsibility to offer views or observations to the European Union any more than it is the European Union’s right or responsibility to give us guidance in terms of how we manage our own migration issues in the United States. We probably both have a great deal to learn from one another.

You talk about free flow and movement of people under Schengen between European Union countries. In many ways it is virtually the same as the flow between states in the United States of America. We have the advantage in the United States in that this system, our system has not been around, help me out here, for 226 years. You didn’t know that the constitution was implemented in 1789, technically 1788 it as passed but implemented in 1789, where Schengen has been around for a smaller period of time.

Nevertheless, the European Union, just like the United States, must assess and reassess frequently and systematically exactly how well its system is working.

Right now both nations are confronting in certain select areas a surge in terms of individuals from outside the union, in both cases, the unions, in seeking to enter. The United States obviously is not going to provide assistance to the European Union, the European Union is quite capable of implementing whatever it decides, any more than the European Union is going to provide assistance to the United States. We are talking all the time. We are trying to learn lessons from one another.

As the European Union addresses the issues say of maritime flow from North Africa and parts of the Middle East into the European Union, we talk about our experiences as we were addressing similar situations in the 1990s of flows principally from Cuba and Haiti into the United States. We learned some lessons in terms of how to do maritime interdiction of migrant flows. Some were good lessons, some were bad lessons, but we learned the lessons. The European Union addresses a similar set of problems in terms of flows from the southeast coming in from, in a sense, Asia through their southeastern borders which is not significantly different from the challenges that we have confronted as we are dealing with flows coming up from Central America through Mexico into the United States.

Do I think the lessons we learned in the United States will all apply to the European Union? No. Any more than I believe the lessons that the European Union is learning should all apply to the United States. We do some things that make sense, some things that don’t make sense.

My own view is that dialogue is good. We must acknowledge that if we are not addressing these issues our people and our political systems will force us to address them perhaps in worse ways than we’re addressing them right now. And it is in the interest of both the European Union and the United States government and the 800 million people that are represented in those two institutions, to talk, to share information.

I’ll tell you, I think we’re doing a good job there. One of the areas where we, that is to say my part of the Department of State, the INL Bureau, is engaged throughout the world is on matters of border security. How to train and equip border guards and border services. How to do static and perimeter, if you will, border guard and border security as well as mobile. How to cover a great amount of territory with a small number of individuals. How to bring in additional equipment and additional resources. Whether it’s airplanes. In some cases we are exploring the use of UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles not for control but for observation. How to use the technology of determining when people are moving across the border. How to verify tunneling when tunneling is the means by which individuals are arriving. There’s a lot of knowledge out there.

But I go back to what I said at the start because it’s not a bad way to close this discussion. Our crises move in ebbs and flows. We should remember that ten years from now we will probably look back and ask ourselves how did we become so excited about this issue which seems to have so little impact on us today? This will partly be because history moves on. It will partly be because we will collectively work out a system that will address these issues.

But just as the United States confronts a situation in which a highly developed economy is very nearby, less developed economies which produces an inevitable magnet effect upon other communities and other nations, so does the European Union confront the same set of realities.

Voice: Thank you very much. I think those are all the questions we have here in Budapest.

Before I turn it back over to you, Mireille, I wanted to note for the journalists who have called in that for those who are interested in reporting on the ILEA anniversary we have on the U.S. Embassy Budapest web page a lot of background material and we’ll be sending out through the Hub a link for a documentary that was produced in English and in Hungarian, but in English as well, for journalists to review if that would be helpful to their reporting.

Thank you very much to all of our friends at the Hub for facilitating this.

Moderator: Thank you, Beth. And special thanks to you, Assistant Secretary Brownfield. We’re so pleased that you took the time today to talk to us. And thanks to all the journalists who are on the line as well. We will be preparing a transcript of today’s call as well, and there will be a digital recording of this available for you for the next 24 hours, and I will send those numbers to you with the link to the video that Beth mentioned along with the transcript when it’s ready.

With that, I think we’ll bring this call to a close. And again, thank you all very much. And please, if you have any questions you can email us at

Thanks, everybody.