1st Berlin Global Forum

Europe and the Emerging Economies: Sharing Responsibility


13 Nov 2015, Berlin

The 1st Berlin Global Forum marks the end of a journey that we embarked on in 2014/2015, with the BMW Foundation Global Table taking us to China, Italy, Brazil, Poland, and Tanzania.

The aim is to establish a dialogue between Europe and the emerging economies that focuses on common interests and shared responsibility.

Based on this premise, the discussions at the 1st Berlin Global Forum will revolve around three themes that are both topical and urgent:

  • Europe’s energy security
  • China’s New Silk Road concept
  • the global dimension of the refugee crisis.

To this end, we bring together some 200 international leaders from business, politics, diplomacy, academia, the arts and culture, and civil society, including numerous participants of previous Global Tables. We are convinced that only such cross-sector approach can yield new answers to the big and sometimes confoundingly complex challenges of our time. With the answers, solutions, and political recommendations emerging from the Global Table process, we want to inject new ideas into the political debate and formal negotiation processes.

The 1st Berlin Global Forum is built around the input from and the interactions among the participants and thus is organized around smaller, innovative dialogue formats.

The conference location is at the Berlin Westhafen, a symbol of the checkered economic history and ongoing transformation of the vibrant capital of Berlin. All further information about the Forum can be found in English, the conference language.


Welcome Speech

  • Michael Schaefer, Chairman of the Board, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Berlin and Munich

Introductory Remarks

  • Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks, Berlin
  • Günther Oettinger EU Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society, Brussels
  • Wang Yiwei, Professor, Director, Institute of International Affairs, Renmin University of China, Beijing

Moderated by Ali Aslan, TV-Host and Journalist, Berlin


Breakout Session

Energy: From Independence to Interdependence

Energy security remains one of Europe's top concerns, while it is also a key problem for most emerging economies and other industrialized countries.

Two working groups will address the question of how intertwined interests could help reach climate and sustainable development goals. Both working groups will ask whether the systemic changes in global affairs require new governance structures to solve complex energy issues. Where are the fault lines between the EU and the emerging powers? What sources of energy should be part of regular inter-regional frameworks? Who should be the stakeholders in this dialogue? Where will the energy be produced, what technologies should be shared, what transit routes must be developed to guarantee win-win situations for all? How will these requirements affect inter-regional and global governance structures?



The New Silk Road: Game Changer for Inclusive Diplomacy?

China's “One belt, one road” initiative has the potential to reshape the economic and political dynamics between China, Central Asia, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

Two working groups will address the question of whether the Chinese “New Silk Road” initiative is another intelligent attempt on the part of China to pursue its national interests, or an example of how systemic changes in global affairs are producing new governance structures. Engaging leaders from the emerging powers and Europe to identify the narratives, incentives, opportunities and policy recommendations that will make regional processes like China's "One belt, one road" a driver for shared sustainable growth and prosperity is a key priority of global relations. How should Europe respond to this initiative? Would China and the corridor states allow the EU to become a co-creator on a level playing field?


Breakout Session

Refugees: From National Egotism to International Solidarity

The refugee crisis is escalating – in countries of origin, in transit nations, and in Europe.

Two working groups should contribute to identifying the areas in which new or increased cooperation is essential to address these short- and long-term objectives. How can we reverse the present trend to re-nationalize the issue of refugees and arrive at a policy of shared responsibility? While clearly making a distinction between refugees who are victims of war and conflict and those who are driven by poverty and other economic reasons, how can we cooperate to ensure humane conditions for all refugees in the short and medium term, while also developing long-term solutions to both of these refugee-producing scenarios?

How can the European Union contribute to greater stability, sustainability and prosperity in countries of origin and transit, building on the principle of solidarity which has been the rationale for the creation of the EU? What kind of inter-regional governance structures could help to achieve greater cooperation between all relevant stakeholders?

The concluding discussion takes its cue from a typical BMW Foundation Global Table. Selected participants will engage more deeply with the results of the Forum, show possible consequences for Europe’s role in the world, and formulate recommendations for action on how to tackle the discussed political and social challenges.

The participants of the discussion

  • Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria, Sofia (Impulse Speech)
  • Ravi Chaudhry, Chairman, CeNext Consulting & Investment, New Delhi
  • Edward Davey, former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, London
  • Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum, Geneva
  • Alejandro Litovsky, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Earth Security Group, London
  • Djoomart Otorbaev, former Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek
  • Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, BMW AG, Munich
  • Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Berlin
  • Wei Shen Director of Confucius Institute, Lancaster University, Lancaster
  • Astrid Skala-Kuhmann Director Emerging Economies - G20, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Berlin