Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn's visit to Washington D.C., US, 27 May to 1 June 2010
"I think it's very important to let the rest of the world - and the United States in particular - know that despite the fact that Europe is going through a very severe economic crisis, the same as is happening right around the world, that the European Union is open for business."
Commissioner meets Dr. John P. Holdren, Director of the US Office of Science and Technology Policy; Reception hosted by Angelos Pangratis, Acting Head of the European Commission Delegation Office in Washington, D.C.
"I'm very pleased to be here on my first official trip outside of the European Union. And, I felt it was important to come to the United States. It's our most strategic trading partner. It is involved, the United States, and companies in the United States are very much involved in the Framework Program, our research program in the European Union. I felt, during the course of the meeting with Dr. Holdren that in fact, I could have been sitting at a Commission meeting and talking to the President and my colleagues. Because, in fact, President Obama's whole research and innovation plans are very much aligned to the plans President Barroso and the Commission have in the European Union. And, therefore, we had many issues in common - many issues where we're grappling with how we should look at the grand challenges and how we respond to them and how we use research and science and innovation in that context. And, also, all of the areas where we, the United States, has done a lot of work already and where we can get a lot of help and support and cooperation in developing our research and innovation strategy for the autumn.
I think it's very important to let the rest of the world - and the United States in particular - know that despite the fact that Europe is going through a very severe economic crisis, the same as is happening right around the world, that the European Union is open for business. We want to attract the best and the brightest to the Union. We have decided that the exit strategy, research, innovation and science plays a key role in that as, indeed, has the United States made the same decision. So, there are a lot of common areas where we can cooperate and where we want to let the United States know we are open for business. Europe is not all doom and gloom. We want to produce a research and innovation strategy in the autumn to the heads of state and government which will be the road map and the critical path to take us out of the economic recession."