On September 30, 2010, The European Institute held its Annual Meeting of the Members and Board of Advisors at the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  Discussions focused on U.S. and European efforts to enact comprehensive financial regulatory measures, strengthen economic governance and spur sustainable economic growth. Moderated by Timothy Keeler, Counsel at Mayer Brown LLP, the expert panel included Mark Sobel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Finance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Antonio de Lecea, Minister - Principal Advisor for Economic and Financial Affairs at the Delegation of the European Union; Matthias Sonn, Minister of Economics and Science at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; and Jeffrey Skeer, International Relations Specialist in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy.

The panel was followed by a dinner and a lively discussion with David Mark, Senior Editor at Politico and Politico.com, about the U.S. Mid-Term Elections and their Potential Implications.

On September 20, 2010, the European Institute welcomed The Honorable Eamon Ryan T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources of the Republic of Ireland. In a comprehensive presentation on Harnessing the Knowledge and Green Economies for Sustainable Growth, Minister Ryan began by addressing the Ireland’s current debt crisis and the government’s efforts to reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP in five years and to achieve more that 4% growth by 2012.  Central to these efforts is investment and trade in the energy and ICT sectors, which Minister Ryan argues are key components for sustainable economic growth.  As examples, he cited Ireland’s implementation of a National Retrofit Program to deliver energy efficiency upgrades and ongoing efforts to draw upon such plentiful renewable energy resources as wind. Minister Ryan stressed the importance of similar priorities in the European Union and emphasized the need for a common energy market within the EU, a single European digital market, and freer global technology transfer between the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Click here to read the full text of Eamon Ryan's remarks.

The European Institute held a meeting with The Honorable Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and The Honorable Bart Gordon, Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss the pivotal roles that research and innovation play in spurring sustainable economic growth and job creation. The first Commissioner responsible for Innovation, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn emphatically stressed the importance of greater transatlantic cooperation, saying that the case for collaboration in research and innovation has never been greater. A new European Research and Innovation Strategy will be  formulated by this fall, and will seek to encourage both private investment and public-private initiatives to meet the 3% of GDP target for R&D. Chairman Gordon, author of the America COMPETES Act, which must be re-authorized this year, echoed the importance of increased investment in research and development in the U.S. within the next ten years, as well as the need for greater international cooperation. Both Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn and Chairman Gordon agreed that increased transatlantic cooperation is not only important to the development of their respective research and innovation agendas, but central to the transatlantic partnership’s ability to shape the future of global R&D.  The discussion was moderated by Dr. Michael Nelson, Visiting Professor of Internet Studies at Georgetown University.

An ambitious five-year plan promising universal broadband coverage by 2013 has been announced by the EU. This follows a similar U.S. plan released by the Obama administration. (See article in European Affairs earlier this spring by the Federal Communications Commission.)

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Newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic are sick and seem to be dying. In the U.S., newspaper consumption has decreased by two-thirds in the last decade. The demise is partly blamed on “free news” available online. But, in fact, the actual information that appears online in blogs and sites of all kinds depends heavily on costly-to-run mainstream media. A Pew survey two years ago showed that nine-tenths of the “news” is produced by fewer than a dozen major outlets, most of them big newspapers with big journalistic staffs. Now even a prime “culprit” -- Google – seems to be drawing the smart conclusion and wanting to help preserve, if not newspapers, at least good reporting and news that it can use.

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