Published 2019-12-18

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Intensive Brussels meetings before Green Deal

Mistra is strengthening its presence in Brussels. In early December, for example, the Foundation was among the organisers of a high-level meeting on the EU’s climate strategy and a seminar on circular economics in the European Parliament.

‘They were valuable meetings, and we noticed that our research results ended up right where they belong — with parliamentarians, commissioners and other key decision-makers,’ said Mistra’s CEO Åke Iverfeldt.

At the high-level meeting, held by the Brussels-based think tank CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies), Iverfeldt spoke about Mistra’s relevant research programmes, including Mistra Carbon Exit.

Sabine Fuss, a visiting professor at Chalmers University of Technology, gave an up-to-date factual presentation about carbon storage. Work to develop sustainable financial markets within the framework of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan was also discussed.

The following day, 5 December, Mistra, Stockholm Environment Institute and another think tank, the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), jointly held a seminar on circular economy at the European Parliament. Participants inc

Bild på Åke Iverfeldt

Åke Iverfeldt.
Photo: Anette Andersson

luded Sigrid Barnekow from Mistra Future Fashion and Carl Dalhammar from Mistra REES.

‘Hans Bruyninckx, head of the European Environment Agency, attended the seminar too. Immediately afterwards, he went to a press conference with Frans Timmermans on the state of the environment in Europe,’ Iverfeldt said.

Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, is in charge of the Union’s climate work. Both seminars took place in the week before the launch of the Commission’s Green New Deal for Europe.

According to Iverfeldt, it is important to feature like this in politicians’ everyday work and to present good research in the contexts where they need and benefit from it. Mistra Dialogue is based on such a strategy, and Mistra’s increased activity in Brussels is a result.

‘You’ve got to hit the right note, and what you say has to be of high quality. You’ve also got to be brief and pithy in addressing the European Parliament. Next time, you’re known and then it’s much easier.’

Given that the two seminars were held by two different think tanks, IEEP and CEPS, both Brussels-based, how important is it for Mistra to work with them?

‘Hugely important. They’re serious think tanks, with superb access to the Commission, and also part of the Mistra Carbon Exit programme,’ Iverfeldt said.

 

Text: Thomas Heldmark