The debate entitled “The Way Ahead for Europe” took place in the Neues Museum in Berlin on 7 February 2012.
The event featured a speech by Chancellor Angela Merkel and a discussion with 180 international students from different European Universities, among others Viadrina and Hertie School of Governance. It was moderated by Quentin Peel, associate editor and chief correspondent, Financial Times.
In her welcoming address Barbara-Maria Monheim, the Chairman of the Board of the BELA Foundation pointed out that “we are living not only in turbulent but also in momentous times. While one huge or, according to one’s point of view, perhaps many smaller crises are dominating the media and gripping our attention, many people, overwhelmed by the enormous challenges and uncertainties besetting us, lack the courage to see the present as an historic opportunity, as a turning point in an economic, political, social and ecological sense. In the past months the Chancellor has played and she will continue in the future to play a central part in determining the course of the future European Constitution and its role in the world. BELA is concerned above all with the people who will help to develop this future. For them we must create a Europe which they can build on. These young people are eager to see a Europe where responsibility, solidarity, unity, competition and opportunity reign supreme”.
The intention of this BELA debate was to give the chance to a large group of young people from different countries to discuss the future of Europe with Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor.