Elmar Brok, Member of the European Parliament, is our guest at 3rd Wednesday Social at July 15th 2015. His theses regarding the evening's topic "Of Walls and Paths – Prospects for the EU’s Foreign Policy” you can read and comment here prior to the event.
Currently, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is negotiated betweenthe EU and the USA. The Free Trade Agreement could increase German exports to theUnited States to up to three to five billion euro annually and hence would be of greatadvantage for the exporting nation Germany! About 40% of Germany’s net added value isbased upon exports. Therefore, Germany should support and advocate free trade.
Security and stability are the prerequisites for a functioning and prosperous economy.Today, the EU is confronted with a security environment which has radically changed. Withits actions in the Ukraine, Russia has been breaking international law and has challengedthe European peace order. As Europeans, we are obliged to stand up for democracy. At thesame time we have to seek to regain Russia as political partner. This, however, requiresRussia to start to respect the international rules (of the game) again. The sanctions towards Russia can only be lifted once Russia complies with the Agreement of Minsk.
Through the effects of globalisation our labour markets are increasingly merging with oneanother. Simultaneously, the demographic development of industrial and developingcountries is wildly diverging and labour markets are thus encouraging migration.Accordingly, we have to consider migration within the Single Market as well as from thirdcountries as an opportunity.
The European Union has an extraordinary interest to foster the international order. Only bycooperating within international organisations, such as the United Nations, the internationalcommunity is able to solve global challenges effectively. The European Union has tocontribute to securing world peace and fostering changing trade, development and climatepolicies.
Today, China is deducing a new aspiration of world power from its economic strength. Thismanifests itself through rearmament and massive territorial claims on the one hand, on theother hand the new Chinese self-image becomes evident in new economic projects such asthe „New Silk Road“ which concurrently has to lead to increased responsibility in theinternational community. This changing environment incentivizes China to approachWestern social, environmental and consumer standards which offers new opportunities ofcooperation and partnership between the Chinese and European economy.
Picture copyright: Homepage Elmar Brok