This is the third event of this type, hosted by the European Parliament and the Helsinki Commission, Congressman Alcee Hastings (D- Florida), in particular. This is only the second time I have attended, but it has been interesting to see how things have developed over the last year. At this event we heard from a variety of speakers on the challenges faced by minorities in getting into political office as well as issues of discrimination.
Besides Alcee Hasting, Barbara Lee (D-California) and Gregory Meeks (D-New York) were in attendance. The were also several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) including Harlem Desir (France - Socialists), Claude Moraes (UK - Labour Party) and Hannes Swoboda (Sweden - Socialists). One of the key discussions was on developing a joint action plan between the U.S. and Europe on minority political participation, however, it's not clear how to get such a project moving forward. Networks and strategies will continue to develop, but for now the key is mutual support and sharing of information.