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Apr 12, 2024

Happy 50th birthday EUVP – Mr Richard Gilmore

Richard GilmoreFor over half a century, the European Union Visitors Programme (EUVP) has striven to strengthen ties between the EU and third countries. When the programme was officially launched on 1 April 1974, it was known as the European Community’s Visitors Programme (ECVP), and its purpose was to offer young leaders from the USA opportunities to learn about Community integration in Europe through direct contacts and firsthand experience. 

After completing my PhD in International Economics and Trade in 1971 while a Fulbright Fellow at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland,  in 1978, I, Richard Gilmore, was one of those young American leaders who got the chance to participate in the Programme. At that time, I was serving as Chairman of the Harold Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations; I still serve as Emeritus Chairman of the Fellowship to this day. In the years since I completed my EU study tour, several Rosenthal fellows have been welcomed to visit the European Institutions for their own Programme experiences. Back then when I was a participant, I was also gathering information for my first book, A Poor Harvest: The Clash of Policies and Interests in the Grain Trade. My dissertation was on economic integration as exemplified in the post war Franco-German example. What I learned during my time visiting the European Institutions was instrumental in advancing my research for this publication. 

After completing the Programme, I received a Rockefeller Fellowship; worked briefly for Rand Corp. before joining the Carnegie Endowment as Director of Food Policy.  In 1980, I founded GIC Trade, Inc. dba GIC Group in 1980, an international agribusiness company specializing in financial services.  I also founded and am Chairman of the NGO, Global Food Safety Forum, whose mission is focus on food safety technologies and their applications in Asian markets. I have written other books, articles, and have served as chief economist of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and periodically as a media commodity market commentator. 

Like so many fellow EUVP alumni, I have spent considerable time in Europe in different capacities and am a dedicated supporter of the EU.  I think I also share a majority view that the war in Ukraine is a global threat and, perhaps, most directly to the EU and its values. After years of success in building and strengthening free trade, we are now seeing geopolitical and economic disruptions resulting in a fractionated international trading environment trending towards autarky. As a result, I consider it a professional responsibility to do as much as possible to support the EU and trans-Atlantic relations.

The EUVP is an excellent example of an initiative which fosters positive trans-Atlantic relations. Every year, the Programme still welcomes large numbers of participants from the USA and also from other countries around the world. Happy 50th birthday EUVP, here’s to many more years of creating and developing beneficial global connections which allow for mutual learning.