First Impressions

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    It was a pleasant autumn morning in Dusseldorf; not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was settled at a comfortable 18 degrees Celsius. President Jeffery has decided to first meet at an informal location within the capital. He and his guest(s) will begin by enjoying the customary mid morning iced tea before heading back to DiMarsico mansion. Fredrick Jeffery has actively sought this meeting with the delegation from Friede for quite some time. Fredrick is excited to be the one to offer the Republic of Friede a first impression of European Union and to provide an impression of Friede to the rest of the region. President Jeffery hopes to discuss a variety of current events as well as develop a relationship between the nations of Rhine Ruhr and Friede.

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    President Fredrick Jeffery of Rhine Ruhr

    President Jeffery takes a table that does not face the blinding glare from the building behind it and casually waits for his guest(s).

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    Chairman Foley shifted uncomfortably in his smart casual dress. His and his staff's attire was considerably more formal than what they would have worn in Friede, yet it seemed a necessity to conform at these international events, even if they could not see the sense in it. Nonetheless, they still bore a few signs of their culture; hair was largely left dishevelled and loose, with a few of the women opting to wear flowers or the thin floral headbands that were so popular in their country. One could see the bohemian and folk elements to their clothing, and were it not for their ID tags, much of the delegation could be mistaken for civilians.

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    The Chairman's transport landed at one of Dusseldorf's airports in the early morning, and the delegates were quick to escape the confines of the plane. As they were shown to the convoy which was to take them to the meeting place, they took note of their surroundings, tapping away on computer tablets.

  • As the convoy arrives, President Jeffery stands to greet the Friede entourage.

    _"Welcome Chairman Foley to Rhine Ruhr! Please do have a seat, we will have plenty of time for formalities later. For now, lets just enjoy some sweet tea and good conversation.

    The European Union has been a slight bit hectic yet stagnant during this election season and Rhine Ruhr honestly can not wait until the Commission elections are over. Once all of the political mayhem has subsided, we are expecting many state and non-state actors to begin various efforts such as the Urban Development Conference. Without these current distractions, Rhine Ruhr looks to spearhead several agendas.

    I was wondering if the nation of Friede has any international ambitions that they will be pursuing in the coming months?"_

  • "I think it best we acclimatise ourselves to the Union first, although we have heard of the upcoming conference. I'd be happy to send the New Meero council; the city underwent extensive redevelopment during and after the boom years, I'm sure they'd do well at a meeting of metropolises. What sort of initiatives were you planning on introducing?"

  • _"Well over the past year, Rhine Ruhr has been growing more and more ambitious when it comes to the regional stage. I myself will be carrying out various diplomatic meetings for the next few weeks. We too are sending the mayor of our capital to the Urban Development Conference in Pacifica. Rhine Ruhr is looking to spearhead many efforts in the coming months that will be aimed to bring European nations closer together.

    But now looking at the present, I'd like to have our nations come together and create a mutually beneficial relationship. Both Rhine Ruhr and Friede have relatively successful economies although reached by different methods. I always find it to be a good start by opening our borders to one another's exports. An agreement to reduce import tariffs on our products is always a good step. At what rate would Friede find it acceptable to reduce import taxes if any?"_

  • "We'd be happy to reduce tariffs substantially, or even sign a free trade agreement. Protectionism is not a Friedian trait...the biggest issue we run into with foreign goods is regulatory matters. Our environmental laws in particular are usually far more restrictive than trading partners. If we're to be a part of the Union and participate more heavily in trade, it'll be vital we respect each other's regulations. What are your main exports and imports, if I may, so we can gauge how we might mutually benefit each other's economies?"

  • "'Free Trade', my favorite two words! Rhine Ruhr's greatest exports are by far manufactured products, but we are also known to export some natural resources. The Hipster Republic has seen an ever increasing wood-chipping industry and has been historically known to contain rich coal deposits along the banks of our rivers. Energy independence is a long held policy of this nation, so our coal is very important to us. It is rare that Rhine involves itself with energy trade, but it is not off the table entirely. Of course Friede's environmental policies would likely stand in the way of any fossil fuel trade more than anything else."

  • "Friede's greatest demands are the import of minerals and gases necessary to our technology sector, which stands as the largest segment of our economy, next to the tourist trade. We also set aside large amounts of funding for scientific research, which usually demands extensive imports of instruments, get the idea. What are the needs of Rhine Ruhr Mr President?"

  • "There is heavy demand in the Rhinian marketplace for luxury items. Special gadgets and gizmos are hard to come by currently in Rhine Ruhr, as well as fine clothing. Without much of a pop-culture to drive the entertainment and fashion industries, people are desperate for foreign commodities. Our technology sector is aching to get a hold of more silicon as well as foreign investments. Rhine Ruhr had previously harshly practiced isolationism until the spring of 2011. Over 18 months later and our people are still clamoring for a broader view of the outside world."

  • "I'm sure we can arrange something in the technology market. It's our largest industry, and I'm certain its business leaders will be happy to expand into foreign markets. Perhaps we can negotiate tourism deals between our nations to facilitate cultural exchange?"

  • "I am beginning to really like you Chairman. I think our nations will forge a partnership that will stand the test of time. I propose free movement of peoples between our states. One would only need citizenship in one of our nations to have the freedom to move throughout our two nations for a period of time. Obviously these periods would only be temporary, as we'd want permanent residents to seek full citizenship."

  • "That seems wholly reasonable to me. We could arrange inaugural cultural events to celebrate our accession to the union, as well as town twinning. Would you be interested in academic collaborations between universities and thinktanks? Monitoring pollution migration across Europe, for instance, and scientific exchanges? Modernity brings many problems to our societies, and I believe unity will be key to addressing them."

  • _"I wholeheartedly agree that town twinning would be highly successful in achieving a cultural exchange between the citizens of our nations. When it comes to university collaboration, it is completely up to the universities themselves whether or not they choose to partake. I do have it on good authority that the Internal Affairs Commissioner looks to establish a university collaboration scheme for the region. I must confess that I have a different view of modernity. I believe that advancements made over the past century have vastly improves society and generally have increased the quality of life. I do concede that we need to be more responsible however when it comes to how we consume natural resources.

    Is there anything further that you would like to discuss?"_

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