As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, prominent representatives from the economic and political spheres including German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and European Central Bank President, Christine Lagarde meet this week at the 13th WELT Economic Summit. Taking place at Axel Springer’s headquarters in Berlin, guests from German and international politics are responding to the question: “War in Europe/Germany’s dependency – How radically must we change our course?”
Following the German election in 2021 which saw Olaf Scholz replace Angela Merkel, and now the breakout of war on European soil as well as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Germany – and the entire continent – are in a phase of immense upheaval.
Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE commented, “Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a threat to democracy and the market economy. This makes it all the more important for the world of politics and the economy to debate in a personal dialogue with one another about what consequences and options for action this presents for all of us. Transformation through trade has shown itself to be an illusion. We need new concepts.”
Ulf Poschardt, Editor-in-Chief of the WELT Group and executive spokesperson for WeltN24 GmbH added, “Two years of pandemic has left the world exhausted. And it is in this situation that Putin has started a war in the middle of Europe, while also tightening the dictatorship in his own country. Germany’s new federal government is faced with huge challenges. How radically will it act? That’s what we will be talking about.”
Among the guests are Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Christine Lagarde (President of the European Central Bank), Christian Lindner (Federal Minister of Finance), Steffi Lemke (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection), Marco Buschmann (Federal Minister of Justice) and Bettina Stark-Watzinger (Federal Minister of Education and Research).
Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, will be discussing the digital challenges facing Germany with Vodafone CEO Hannes Ametsreiter.
Simone Menne, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, and Andreas Mundt, President of the Federal Cartel Office, will be exploring the question of how we can transpose our market economy principles into the era of the digital economy.
Anahita Thoms, Young Global Leader WEF and partner Baker McKenzie, and Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO of Lilium, will each be holding a keynote speech.
The dinner speaker at yesterday’s event on the eve of the summit was Leader of the CDU Friedrich Merz. Ukrainian Ambassador Andrij Melnyk was invited as guest of honor.