Deputy prime minister Étienne Schneider and US ambassador Randy Evans in front of a larger version of the photograph Buzz Aldrin signed for the former, 23 January 2020
Photo: US Embassy/Steve Eastwood
US ambassador Randy Evans hosted a reception Thursday evening in honour of deputy prime minister Étienne Schneider (LSAP), who will resign from government on 4 February.
Calling Schneider “an inspirational leader and visionary”, the ambassador recounted their meeting with US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross, which culminated in the signing of the MoU in space policy and research between the two countries, a “foundation” for further bilateral cooperation in the field, most recently in Washington, DC.
“Étienne was one of those people focused on doing making things happen for Luxembourg, management, and I focused on making things happen for the United States of America,” Evans said.
And although he and Schneider had very different backgrounds, Evans said that despite their different backgrounds, he knew Schneider “was somebody who I could work with”, adding that “much of what we did consisted of sitting around in a private restaurant with nobody, no press, no staff…nothing but the two of us and our imaginations”.
Schneider said the ambassador played a crucial role in getting Ross to come to Luxembourg for the MoU signing, which led to his meeting Nasa’s Jim Bridenstine.
The deputy prime minister also mentioned the range of US companies that have set up in Luxembourg over the past decades--including DuPont, Goodyear, Delphi--and also mentioned his hopes for Google. “If ever they decide to do so, that will be the biggest…industrial investment ever done in Luxembourg”, given that it would be an investment of around €1.2bn.
Evans presented Schneider with a photograph of the two plus Buzz Aldrin, who had signed the photo, along with a splash dish.
As for Schneider’s next move? “I don’t know yet,” he said, adding that he never wanted to serve longer than a decade when he entered politics: “as it is in companies, it should be in politics as well. You always need new ideas, new brains, new inputs.”