It was my great pleasure to host the Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard during his visit to Washington D.C. to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday May 7th. In addition to the meeting at the State Department, Minister Lidegaard spoke at the Brookings Institution on “Ukraine and the New European (Clean) Energy Debate” in Europe – to which all ADBC members were invited. In fact, energy, climate and water are foreign policy issues and of great importance not only to governments but to business as well.
Minister Lidegaard had a very productive first meeting with Secretary Kerry who expressed his appreciation regarding Denmark’s active role in the key issues concerning both countries: that is, the crisis in Ukraine, the climate agenda, the issue of chemical weapons in Syria, and the Artic. In remarks before the meeting Secretary Kerry said:
“Denmark is a country that is hitting way above its weight in many, many ways. And we’re very, very pleased and grateful for the strong relationship that we have – a NATO partner and ally, but most importantly, Denmark has been leading on the issue of Ukraine, of the importance of standing up for the elections, of providing the people of Ukraine with an opportunity to choose their future. They are tremendous leaders on climate change, environment, environmental standards . . . .”
In addition to the Brookings forum and, most importantly, the meeting with Secretary Kerry, Minister Lidegaard met with Senator John McCain, Congressman Steny Hoyer and Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken. These discussions were also productive with appreciation expressed for Denmark’s engagement on major global issues.
The success of the Foreign Minister’s visit is also mirrored in the progress we are making in ADBC. Much has taken place since the last newsletter — including the Foreign Minister’s visit mentioned above and a visit by the Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation. I am pleased to call your attention to the articles in this newsletter covering the event with the Danish Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation in April and the very productive board meeting we had in March. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has been a large part of ADBC activities over the first months of 2014 and will continue to be a focus for the future.
The Embassy is again looking forward to this year’s EU Open House. ADBC members – Novozymes, The TAK agency, and Systematic – will take an active role showcasing the very best Denmark and Danish companies have to offer. Later in the afternoon we will host the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Finale 2014 garden party.
The event for the Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus is an important upcoming event and has been scheduled for June 12th. I hope you will all join us for a great networking opportunity and usher ADBC into the second half of 2014.
With best regards,
// Peter Taksoe-Jensen
To hear Minister Lidegaard’s speech go to http://www.brookings.edu/events/2014/05/06-ukraine-european-clean-energy