Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford began a trade and diplomatic mission to Europe Friday with stops planned in France, Belgium and Estonia.
Among the topics Rutherford will discuss with European officials are cybersecurity and opioid abuse. The latter has been a particular focus of Rutherford's service as lieutenant governor, having led a task force on Maryland's response to the problems of heroin and opioid abuse.
In France, Rutherford will join Baltimore Archbishop William Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore at the reopening of the newly restored Jesuits Chapel in Saint Omer in the Hauts-de-France region. The chapel memorializes the 275th anniversary of the arrival of Maryland's prominent Carroll family of the colonial era.
Rutherford will then travel to Brussels for meetings with U.S. Embassy officials, Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem and representatives of Belgian companies.
The lieutenant governor and Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, who heads the Maryland National Guard, will meet with Estonian officials as part of a 25-year-old partnership that began after the Baltic nation's breakaway from the Soviet Union. They are expected to discuss miliary cooperation, trade and cybersecurity. Rutherford will also meet with Estonian business executives.