On October 4, 2011, The European Institute held a seminar in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy, European Commission and Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s EU-Japan-U.S. Trilateral Critical Materials Initiative.  The Honorable David Sandalow, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs, The Honorable Reinhard Bütikofer, Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance and Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, European Parliament; and His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador of Japan to the United States presented keynote remarks.  Panelists included: Gwenole Cozigou, Director for chemicals, metals, mechanical, electrical, construction industries and raw materials, DG Enterprise and Industry at the European Commission; Herbert von Bose, Director for Industrial Technologies, DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission; Cyrus Wadia, Senior Policy Analyst, Environment and Energy Division at the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy; Charles Cogar, Legislative Director for U.S. Representative Mike Coffman; Komei Halada, Managing Director for the Center for Strategic Natural Resources at the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science; Keiichi Kawakami, Deputy Director General, Manufacturing Industries Bureau at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Stephen Collocott, Group Leader, Novel Alloys, Magnetics and Drives at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; Anil Arora, Assistant Deputy Minister, Minerals and Metals Sector, Natural Resources Canada; Alain Rollat, Technology Development Manager for Rhodia Rare Earth Systems; Maurits Van Camp, Coach, Recycling and Extraction Technology Platform, Umicore; and Jim Sims, Vice President for Corporate Communications at Molycorp.  The discussion was moderated by The Honorable Bart Gordon, Partner at K&L Gates LLP.

On May 25, 2011, The Honorable Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Member of the European Parliament and co-Chair of the Parliament’s European Greens-European Free Alliance Group discussed the growing support for Green Parties across Europe and assessed the increased popularity of the Greens in Europe and the implications of their success on Europe’s priorities and governance. Klaus Linsenmeier, Executive Director of the Heinrich Boll Foundation North American moderated the discussion.

On May 13, 2011, The Honorable Arvydas Sekmokas, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, assessed his nation’s ambitious efforts to develop a diversified and sustainable energy base and wean itself from total dependence on imported natural gas and electricity. François Rivasseau, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and Andrea Waldman Lockwood, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Eurasia, Africa and the Middle East, added their perspectives on the Baltic Region’s energy security challenges and the role that both EU and US policies can play in successfully meeting them.

Amid fresh global worries about radiation after the nuclear meltdown in Japan, the U.S. and leading EU countries have decided to move ahead with a “New Safe Confinement” for the damaged reactors at Chernobyl in Ukraine involved in the deadly 1986 accident there that leaked radiation across Europe.

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In a wide-ranging speech at The European Institute on the increasingly pivotal role of Europe’s Northern Dimension, the President of Latvia, Valdis Zatlers, said his country has survived the economic crisis and is poised for healthy growth and entry into the Eurozone in 2014.

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