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.

The United States and European Union signed this week an agreement to fight illegal fishing which, according to EU estimates, costs EU fishermen 23 billion euro per year.  The agreement calls for cooperation and the free flow of information between the EU and US in combating this growing problem.

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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.

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At the Nuuk meeting, the Arctic Council put off the European Commission’s application for “permanent observer” status – probably for two years. The bid was strongly supported by one Arctic Council member state, Finland (which also belongs to the EU). But it was opposed by two other permanent Council members, Canada and Russia. Decisions are taken by unanimity on the Council. A decision on the EU application – based on criteria established at Nuuk – is set to be taken within two years, ie by the time of the next Council ministerial.

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Without so much as a farewell tip of the hat, President Barack Obama has pulled the plug on his Dan Morganmuch-promoted goal of comprehensive climate-change legislation. In his agenda-setting State of the Union address, he dropped any U.S. move toward EU-style cap and trade. Significantly, the word “climate” was never uttered. 

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