World Economy in Transition
New Challenges for Economic Governance
April 20 Friday
April 20, 2012, 12.30
Dr. Michael Fuchs, MP, Vice-Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group
Lecture by the Vice-Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group of the German Bundestag, Dr. Michael Fuchs, in cooperation with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (DIHKJ).
On 20 April 2012, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in cooperation with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (DIHKJ) invited for a lecture by Dr. Michael Fuchs, Vice-Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group.
After the opening remarks by the DIHKJ Executive Director, Manfred Hoffman, Dr. Michael Fuchs, gave his lecture on "World Economy in Transition: New Challenges for Economic Governance".
Dr. Fuchs first briefly summarized the events of the economic crisis since the Lehman-Brother bank declared bankruptcy and the effects especially on Europe and the Eurozone before he presented his assessment on the situation in each affected European state. The vice-chairman judged the measures taken by the concerned governments to decrease the debt of the so called PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) as overall satisfying. However, he reiterated the differing backgrounds and preconditions for the crisis in these countries as important criteria for the evaluation of the whole crisis.
He outlined, that Germany had played a central role in coping with the recent economic crises in Europe and was ready to continue that policy under the lead of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The establishment of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) as an extension and follow-up for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and especially the comprehensive introduction of a constitutional debt brake to almost all European countries had been majorly designed and accompolished by Germany. The German economy was the first in Europe to recover from the international crisis and will remain a benchmark and motor for regional developments. It also remained a of central interest and priority for the German government to further European integration to counter a looming decrease of importance also in comparison to emerging economies.
Countries like Germany and Japan were facing similar challenges including
- demographic change
- shortage of skilled workers
- the need for affordable and safe energy
- the need for an adequate supply of raw materials
- the continuing need for a high degree fo R&D expenditures
- securing balanced state budgets
Dr. Fuchs stated, that "the relative importance of individual western and European countries in the global economy is declining, and has been for years." Former major actors in global economic governance like the G7 or G8 were more and more replaced by formats like G20 and the emerging BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). "Against this background, the relevance even of major industrialised nations like Germany and Japan is waning. That is why it is important for us today to stand together - in Europe as the EU and the eurozone, but also internationally, for example through strategic partnerships between Europe and Japan."
Professors, representatives of governmental agencies, renowned private companies and the most important newspapers as well as researchers from famous research institutes took part in the event. After the presentation the KAS Representative in Tokyo, Jörg Wolff, moderated a long-lasting, deep-going discussion in which Dr. Fuchs answered a variety of questions and gave his comments on various ideas and perspectives.