On 17 and 18 November 2016 the 8th German-Nordic-Baltic Forum was held. It took place at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science and brought together over 40 participants from political and academic spheres from all three Baltic States as well as from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Poland and Germany to investigate the topic „German, Nordic and Baltic Views on the Future of the EU: Common Challenges and Common Answers“.
On 10 November 2016, with our Portuguese partners Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais (IPRI-UNL), the 4th Germany-Portugal Forum was held.
In the beginning, Parliamentary State Secretary Brigitte Zypries from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy spoke about a digital European Single Market and the active resistance within the German public to the trade agreements CETA and TTIP. She represented Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who has been invited to deliver an opening statement but was unable to attend the forum, due to illness. The Portuguese Foreign Minister Prof. Dr. Augusto Santos Silva reviewed the topics, such as trade agreements and employment from the Portuguese perspective with special focus on Industry 4.0. As representative of the Bank of Portugal, Prof. Dr. Elisa Ferreira emphasized the necessity of strengthening the Banking Union in order to stabilize the Economic and Monetary Union and to generate growth.
The 26th annual meeting of the German-Hungarian Forum took place in Budapest on 25-26 October 2016 and was hosted by the Andrássy University Budapest. Around 200 participants from politics, economy, science, civil society and media attended the conference. This year’s forum focused on German and Hungarian perspectives on European policy issues. Current topics and challenges facing the EU were debated in the high-ranking panels. The demographic development, its consequences for the labor market in Europa as well as the current political situation in the EU were open for discussion. The participants continued to work in the following groups: “Competitiveness of Europe: New Ways and Concepts – Corporate potential” (WG Economics) and “The EU-Turkey Relations Mirrored in the German and Hungarian Media” (WG Media).