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“You have to get involved!“

  • 2016 年 01 月 29 日
“You have to get involved!“

Start of the CGS 2016 lecture series “Global Trends“– Peer Steinbrück speaks at the Uniclub about “Germany and Europe in the context of global power shifts”

He had not been promised too much: The white hall of the University club of Bonn was nearly full when Peer Steinbrück, head of the parliamentarian group USA and former candidate for the chancellorship, entered the podium on Friday, 22nd January 2016. Especially many students came to hear the SPD politician. Topic: “Germany and Europe in the context of global power shift”, truly a relevant one in these days. He started by stating that conditions in Germany were not as bad as one might think, listing numbers and statistics. “Germany is extremely well positioned”, not least because “Politicians haven’t made as many mistakes as you might think”. The industry, a strong middle class, social peace, full employment. These are all reasons to relax and regard prosperity as normal, Steinbrück said. However, he continued by pointing out: “Germany faces enormous challenges which are either underestimated or overlooked”: Demographic change, Germany and Europe lagging behind in key areas such as the digital economy and the crises around the world. “We cannot lean back. In a rapidly changing world, arrogance is inappropriate.” Among other things, Steinbrück underlined the importance of carrying out necessary investments. Telling anecdotes, joking in his usual dry wit and talking in his characteristic sober style, Steinbrück delivered a speech which never once got boring. Also due to his strong and direct appeals he managed to receive the audience’s full attention: Germany gets more and more isolated. The European project is in danger like never before and loses its relevance. At the same time China and Brazil gain strength – “Shifts on the global level to the detriment of Europe”. However, this Europe with its freedoms and economic achievements actually is “the best thing in the world”. Steinbrück rhetorically asked his mostly young audience whether the European project could be taken for granted. No, he warned passionately. “You have to fight for it. You have to stand up for Europe, you can’t leave this to the old folks. You have to get involved!”