Europaforum at the Federal Foreign Office
What will the EU look like in the future and what role will Germany play? These questions were the focus of the 16th WDR Europaforum on 15 May at the Federal Foreign Office attended by high ranking politicians from all across Europe. Talking to presenters Ulrich Deppendorf and Jörg Schönenborn, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: “We Europeans belong together and need to stick together”.
Westerwelle talking to Ulrich Deppendorf (right) and Jörg Schönenborn
In the current debt crisis, Westerwelle maintained it was wrong to just talk about the price of Europe – what counted was the value of Europe. For him, the continent is currently in a defining phase on three counts. Firstly, Europe’s future image in the world was being determined. The Minister emphasized that Europe must not react to global shifts by repatriating.
Secondly, Europe’s image amongst the citizens was being defined. Is Europe a forward looking continent that can tackle crises and act efficiently? The Minister believes we need to use the opportunities of the crisis to further develop and deepen Europe. We have to communicate that values forge a bond between people in Europe, the German Foreign Minister went on to say.
Full house in the Weltsaal at the Federal Foreign Office
Thirdly, Germany’s image in the world was now being defined. “Precisely because we are strong, we need to be particularly sensitive when (…) talking to our partners in Europe”. Westerwelle warned against “any form of Teutonic snobbery”: “Germany will not thrive in the long term unless Europe does”, as the Minister pointed out.
Finally, Westerwelle again sketched out Germany’s triad of European policy: budgetary consolidation, solidarity with European partners and growth policy, including improving competitiveness – a point also underscored by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in his video message.
The 16th WDR Europaforum on 15 May 2013 in Berlin’s Federal Foreign Office was looking at the topic “Europe’s future! – European Germany or German Europe”. The high ranking guests included: Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, British Minister of State for Europe David Lidington, Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and many more. You can follow the event via live stream on the Europaforum website.
Last updated 16.05.2013