On September 21, 2011, The Honorable John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy offered his perspective on the parameters for responsible innovation and how the EU can best strike a balance between the pressing drive for new and innovative consumer products and consumer safety.  He also the prospects and challenges for greater transatlantic cooperation on consumer safety policies and the shared imperative of insuring better public health policies for long term social and economic benefit.

At a special dinner event in Brussels on September 8, 2011, The Honorable Maroš Šefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, Ambassador Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Robert-Jan Smits, Director General of DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission addressed the vital need to continue investing in innovation during a time of economic crisis and budget constraints, as well as the ongoing institutional changes in Brussels and what they mean for doing business in Brussels.

On June 29, 2011, Stéphane Hogan, Head of Coordination Unit in Directorate Health of DG Research and Innovation and Giulia Del Brenna, Head of Unit for Food and Healthcare Industries, Biotechnology in DG Enterprise and Industry both of the European Commission, David Beier, Senior Vice President for Global Government and Corporate Affairs at Amgen, and Dr. Val Giddings, Senior Fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation addressed U.S. and EU approaches to spurring innovation in the biotechnology sector in a time of budgetary constraints and growing concerns over rising healthcare costs. The Honorable Bart Gordon, Partner at K&L Gates LLP and former Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology, moderated the discussion.

In an unusual joint public-private initiative, political leaders and major Internet players held a broad open forum on May 24-25 in Paris to discuss the future of the Internet. Held on the sidelines of the G8 summit meeting of Western powers in Deauville, the web forum was called "the e-G8." The outcome was foreseeable -- more divergences than agreement.

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Official uneasiness about the state of Internet governance is rising as governments on both sides of the Atlantic have come to recognize how limited their ability is to control it. The latest public symptom of this anxiety surfaced in a leaked official letter from European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes who is also the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke in which she sought U.S. help in stopping the deployment of a new Internet “suffix” -- ".xxx" –- to identify pornography sites on the web. “This is a major public policy concern,” she wrote, “not only because of the unknown effects it may have in terms of internet stability, but also because of the implications such blocking may have for internet censorship and freedom of expression.”

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