Germany Listening Berlin, July 18, 2018

“Europe at the crossroads” – French proposals for reforming the EU and the German answers

A lecture with Anne-Marie Descôtes, French ambassador to Germany

"Today, Europe finds itself at the crossroads", said Anne-Marie Descôtes, French ambassador in Germany since 2017. The situation, she added, was unprecedented in the history of the Union, and the list of challenges was long: the raise of populism and nationalism, the handling of migration and integration, reforming the economic and monetary union, the fight against climate change, digitalization and the threatening collapse of multilateral alliances.

Nevertheless, in her impulse speech and during the following discussion with students, the ambassador did not take a pessimistic point of view. The rapprochement of France and Germany regarding their suggestions for reforming the European Union, especially the declaration of Meseberg, were a decisive step to face these challenges together. Here, nothing less than Europe’s place in the world was at stake. Therefore, she said, it was essential to progress quickly in this matter, especially with regard to the European elections in May 2019.

In the course of the evening, the ambassador was very open for questions and showed a great interest in the views of the participating students. Her most important message: engagez-vous!

"Germany Listening" is a series of events jointly organized by Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft and the master program International Relations of Humboldt University, Freie Universität Berlin and the University Potsdam. International guests from politics and science discuss their expectations of Germany’s role in Europe and the world. More information can be found here.

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