ACB Beat
Blog of the American Club of Brussels

  • 03 Nov 2016 3:49 AM | Brian Dunhill (Administrator)

    Over 2.5 million eligible voters living abroad could make a critical difference in battleground states, as they rush to get in their ballots ahead of the deadline. 

    With the US election just one week away, Americans in Belgium and other countries are hurrying to send in their ballots before the polls close. The US allows its citizens to vote, no matter how long they have living abroad, differently from other countries. And depending on the state in which they vote, Americans can send their ballots by express mail or fax up to November 8th, the date of the election. Their votes will help decide not only the Clinton vs. Trump battle, but also many tight races for the Senate and House of Representatives - and that could make a difference in whether or not Barack Obama’s eight-year legacy will be preserved.

    Americans abroad make up a formidable voting block and would be the 13th largest state if they were counted together. And every one of those votes counts. It is worth remembering that George W. Bush was ruled the winner of the Florida election by only 537 votes. That is why organizations like Democrats Abroad Belgium (DAB) are encouraging all Americans to make their voice heard.

    “By now, registered voters should have received and mailed in their ballots. If they haven’t, we’re encouraging them to vote via the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, which they can download off our website,” said Pauline Manos, Chair of Democrats Abroad Belgium. “These votes make a difference – and they’re even more crucial in this election cycle with what is at stake.”

    As Americans go to the polls on November 8th, Democrats Abroad Belgium will take part in the Election Night party hosted by The American Club of Brussels and The Bulletin. And it’s not just Americans who will be watching the results - tickets to the event at the Marriott Grand Place Brussels quickly sold out, as demand was strong for the party where live music, debates, discussions, and streaming commentary from the US will keep voters and spectators entertained throughout the night.

    Democrats Abroad Belgium will also hold a morning-after Election Results Breakfast event on November 9th from 7 to 11a.m., at the Marriott. Journalists, DAB members, and others can sign up for this free event at https://goo.gl/forms/iFgkekzqoyo5EaYo1.

    For more information, contact Pauline Manos, Chair - Democrats Abroad Belgium, at chair- be@democratsabroad.org or at +32-497-591-897. You can also visit the DAB Facebook Page and DAB Website

  • 01 Nov 2016 5:18 AM | Brian Dunhill (Administrator)

    Washington, DC, Monday, October 31, 2016 -- American Citizens Abroad, Inc. (ACA), calls for nominations for its 2016 Thomas Jefferson Award honoring State Department employees who have given exemplary service to American citizens residing abroad. ACA is a Washington, DC based nonprofit, nonpartisan, volunteer organization representing the interests of Americans living and working outside the United States to all branches of the U.S. Government.

    ACA launched the Thomas Jefferson Award in 1994 to commemorate the 250thanniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson, America's first Secretary of State. Jefferson himself lived outside the new republic for many years while promoting the political, economic and intellectual interests of his country. The impressive nominations submitted for prior Awards testify to deep appreciation by U.S. citizens abroad for exceptional service received from State Department employees.

    The winner receives a framed certificate, and his/her name is engraved on a plaque on display at the State Department. The names of all nominees are sent to State, and mention of nomination is added to their service records.

    Previous winners include personnel of all ranks (from Foreign Service National through Ambassador) based on all continents and in Washington, each of whom has, through personal commitment, creativity and enthusiasm served, inspired and united "their" American communities. Check out previous winners at: 
    https://www.americansabroad.org/awards/

    Nominations for the award should include:

     One or more letters of recommendation from individual Americans and/or groups, explaining why the candidate should be chosen, and citing anecdotes and examples of outstanding service to the local community;

     If possible, an outline of the nominee’s career to date;

     A recent photograph of the candidate;

     Deadline for submission of nominations for the 2016 Thomas Jefferson Award is 31 December 2016.  Please provide your contact details with your submission.

    Nominations should be sent to: info@americansabroad.org (subject: “Thomas Jefferson Award nomination”) or via mail to American Citizens Abroad, Inc., Attention: Thomas Jefferson Award Committee, 11140 Rockville Pike, Suite 100-162, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.

  • 31 Oct 2016 7:43 PM | Brian Dunhill (Administrator)

    For those of us that were lucky enough to meet Martin King last year as he allowed us to view his Emmy award winning film "Searching for Augusta." The film is finally available in the US!

    ATP estimates that 186 stations across the US, representing 110 million viewing households, will air the film. ATP continues to market the film world-wide and through the digital outlet agreement we have reached with them.

    Make sure to let your friend know about this amazing movie!

    http://www.augustachiwy.com/film.html

  • 25 Oct 2016 9:42 PM | Brian Dunhill (Administrator)

    Election Night is officially sold out for regular admission, we still have a few tickets for the VIP dinner (which includes general admission)!

    http://www.americanclubbrussels.org/event-2359492

  • 21 Oct 2016 1:37 PM | Brian Dunhill (Administrator)

    Dear ACB Members and Friends, 

    It is with great pleasure that I’m writing to you regarding the largest election event in Brussels. Tickets are going fast and will sell out. Tickets cannot be purchased at the door on the evening of the event. Pre-registration is required: www.uselections.be

    This activity is a great fundraiser for the club and, more importantly, an opportunity for the Club to deepen our relationships in the Brussels community. 

    That being said, such an initiative needs lots of volunteer efforts and John, Dick and Marcia have been spearheading these initiatives to make for an amazing evening. We will need more support from the club on the evening itself. This includes:

    I. Help managing the entrance

    II. Help managing the press

    III. Help managing the speakers and VIP’s

    IV. Help managing the coatroom

    If you’re available to help for a 2-3 hour period, you will have the opportunity to join the event for free. Please e-mail me at brian@crossborderplanning.net if you can help. 

    We look forward to making this historic election an historic evening in Brussels. 

    Best Regards, 

    Brian Dunhill

    President - American Club of Brussels

  • 21 Oct 2016 11:14 AM | Brian Dunhill (Administrator)

    Dear Members and Friends, 

    I'm writing you from warm and sunny Monaco, where this years AAC conference is being held. If you're not aware of the association of American Clubs, you should check out their website:

    http://www.associationofamericanclubs.com

    You're membership includes a reciprocal membership to all the American clubs in Europe. While we listed this years event for the first time not expecting much, I'm proud to report that we're the club with the most members in attendance behind the hosting club of the French Riviera. We have 7 club members in attendance and hopefully we will come back with lots of fresh ideas. 

    As you know, Election Night is just around the corner and we're looking for volunteers and a few more sponsors for the evening. Most importantly, make sure you sign up for the event as it will be an amazing evening and join the VIP dinner. 

    http://www.uselections.be

    The election is getting us lots of good press (thank you John, Dick and Marcia), of which some makes it look like I'm running for President (although I might be more qualified then other un-named candidates). 

    Halloween is only a week away and we're looking forward to seeing all of your costumes:

    http://americanclubbrussels.org/event-2360237

    Our new board members Andrew, Kathleen, CJ and Erin have hit the ground running with a brunch and bringing back our bowling tournament

    Lastly, we have made a tradition of going to Fatboys on Sunday for American Football. I will be out of town and therefore, please go and keep Peter company and commiserate with him about the Cowboys! 

    https://www.meetup.com/American-Club-of-Brussels/events/235013153/

    Happy Friday! 

  • 21 Oct 2016 11:12 AM | Brian Dunhill (Administrator)

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the proposed investment partnership between the European Union and the United States with the intention of promoting trade and economic growth, probably won’t be finalized until 2019 or 2020.  Still, with market access and regulations under negotiation, it’s a good time to discuss how the agreement could affect the markets in the EU and the US. 

    Currently, the EU-US economic relationship is the largest in the world between any two trading blocks. Together, they are responsible for more than half of the world’s GDP, about 40% of world trade services, and about 30% of the global merchandise trade. Every day, about $2 billion of transatlantic trade in goods and services takes place. When it comes to investment, the relationship is even larger. The two governments are each other’s largest sources for direct foreign investment (FDI). In 2011, European investment in the United States was 70% of total FDI in the US. 

    Approval of the TTIP will increase this relationship even further. A study from the European Commission found that European exports would increase by 28%. When looking outside of the two countries, the study found that EU and US trade with the rest of the world would increase by 33%. 

    For Americans, the partnership would open up new opportunities for Made-in-America products in European markets. American businesses, farmers, and families could benefit from jobs, growth, and international competitiveness. 

    The study found that US GDP would increase by about 0.4%, while EU GDP would increase by about 0.5%. This translates into about $870 per year of extra disposable income for a family of four in the United States. 

    As of now, trade is fairly easy between the EU and the US, and tariffs are low at around 4%. But with the trade deal, almost all import duties on industrial and agricultural goods will be eliminated, creating millions of dollars in savings. Other hurdles would also be eliminated, such as rules on food testing and car safety, which are currently about equal, but incompatible, and would become compatible under the partnership. 

    The goal of the TTIP is to encourage transatlantic foreign investment by making it less complicated. An agreement is meant to stop any discrimination against foreign investors, as well as prohibit expropriation, denied access to courts, and arbitrary treatment. If an investor has lost money because the rules were violated, they can file an investor state dispute settlement. 

    Through easier access to public markets and abolishment of discrimination of foreign investors, it will be easier for Americans living abroad to invest, meaning now is an important time to start speaking with your financial advisor. 

    Get a complimentary copy of the American expat guide at www.omniwealth.eu/sign-up-for-our-financial-guide for more information about the financial planning process as an American expat. You can also visit www.crossborderplanning.net and www.omniwealth.eu.

  • 18 Oct 2016 6:06 PM | Contact ACB (Administrator)

    INVITATION

    Voka, Flemish Chamber of Commerce and Industry

    American Power Breakfast - November 9, 2016

    We start at 5:30 until 10:00. During the event we are receiving politicians (Deputy Prime Minister Decroo, Budget Minister Van Overtveldt, Secretary of State Decrem and Secretary of State Debaets), as well as entrepreneurs (Lotus, ABInbev...) and people from the academic world (Dave Sinardet, Economist Peter Dekeyzer, Professor Bart Kerremans...).

    During the event we have a live newsdesk, which we will be streamed on the internet, hosted by Xavier Taveirne (Radio 1). He will interview our guests.

    It would be nice if we could have some American Expats who are willing to give us their opinion on the election and would be eager to discuss the challenges for the new President-Elect.

    Tom DEMEYER
    Spokesperson
    Voka - Vlaams netwerk van ondernemingen
    Koningsstraat 154-158
    1000 Brussel
    tom.demeyer@voka.be

           

    inschrijfknop

    Wordt het Clinton of toch Trump? De vraagt houdt Amerika en de wereld al meer dan een jaar in de ban. Op 9 november kennen we het antwoord. Wees erbij op dit historische moment. We volgen live de verkiezingsresultaten op de voet. U kan doorlopend langskomen tussen 05u30 en 10u00...

           

           

     

  • 05 Oct 2016 4:08 PM | Contact ACB (Administrator)


    Beersel Castle - © vzw De Rand

    Discover Flemish Brabant

    With this booklet, the tourist board of Flemish Brabant (Toerisme Vlaams Brabant) wants to introduce the expats living in and around Brussels to the touristic assets of Flemish Brabant, a surprisingly green area on the doorstep of Brussels. Fascinating stories, useful trip tips and attractive images should inspire the international community to discover Flemish Brabant to the fullest. Six influential expat bloggers (among them ACB board member Wendy Deyell) headed off to discover some unspoiled parts of the province and, in the brochure, share their tips to get the most out of a trip to this green area around Brussels. These experiences are alternated with ready-to-use listicles to explore the area’s gems even more.

    You can consult and download the digital version of the expat booklet via this link.

  • 04 Oct 2016 10:47 AM | Brian Dunhill (Administrator)


    With the approach of colder weather, the HOPE team would like to invite AWCB members to donate new or gently-used coats and shoes for the benefit of the needy during the month of October. All sizes are welcome.

    All donations can be dropped off in a bin next to the wooden HOPE chest in the lower level of the clubhouse.

    BINGO at Home Leopold will be on October 13th. We will play BINGO with residents and serve light refreshments. We are looking for volunteers to join us and we are also looking for donations of scarves, gloves, hats, bags, small household items, backpacks as prizes for bingo. Contact Marty Niebel for more info: marty.niebel1@gmail.com


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22 Nov 2018 7:00 PM • Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place, rue Auguste Orts 3-7, 1000 Brussels
27 Nov 2018 7:30 PM • CHEZWaWa, Rue Américaine 91, 1050 Brussels
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