Kirk Holds Meeting of Eastern European Advisory Board

Sen. Mark Kirk and Aleksandra Efimova, Chair of the EEAB

Board Discusses New Ways to Connect With Eastern European Constituents

CHICAGO—In an effort to reach out and better serve Illinois constituents from all backgrounds and walks of life, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today met with his Eastern European Advisory Board, created to address concerns of Eastern European constituents, small business owners, and community leaders.

The board, chaired by Aleksandra Efimova of Chicago, includes representatives of several ethnicities, including Russian, Armenian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Ukrainian, Czech, and Hungarian business and community leaders.  Vice Chairs are Ken Hachikian of Lake Forest and Al Domanskis of Western Springs.

“It gives me great pleasure to meet with my advisory boards, especially a board as active, dynamic, and well-informed as my Eastern European Advisory Board,” Senator Kirk said.  “It is a privilege to work with these leaders and pillars of their respective communities.”

Senator Kirk led the group in discussion of a broad array of issues, including new trade agreements, membership of European countries in the European Union and World Trade Organization, and human rights concerns.  Visa systems and immigration concerns were also discussed, as well as ways for small businesses to invest in Eastern Europe and how to make the United States friendlier to European investors.

The board expressed optimism about future projects, as well as applauding Senator Kirk’s leadership on the planned modernization of O’Hare Airport’s international terminal.  “The board and I agree that we need to make O’Hare as friendly to foreign investors, tourists, and visitors as possible,” Senator Kirk said.

The board also raised concerns about continued issues with national sovereignty and human trafficking in some Eastern European nations, which causes reasonable unease in friends and relatives in Eastern European communities within the United States.

“I look forward to working further with this exceptionally cooperative board to come up with answers to the serious challenges and issues of the day,” Senator Kirk said.