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Insights Call with Prof. Michael Hüther: The Search for European Orientation in the Middle of the Corona Crisis


On July 6, 2020, AmCham Germany hosted a webinar with Professor Dr. Michael Hüther, Director, German Economic Institute.

How Does Europe Strategically Position Itself in This Globalized World?

With this question Professor Michael Hüther introduced the webinar. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have reacted with their own national strategies. “This fact alone is not too problematic, but it should be understood as an indication that the solution strategies may become increasingly small-scale in the long term, but are not necessarily bound to national borders,” Hüther said. In the progression of the crisis, the EU reacted with three large-scale measures. This led to the stock market suspecting that the COVID-19 crisis was an economic phenomenon that will last for about two years – an assumption that is also supported by the US Federal Reserve.

 

EU Needs to Present Recognizable Advantages in the Future

For the EU, Hüther emphasized, it was important to present recognizable advantages in the future. “The EU needs to position itself more clearly on the issues of security, e.g. the EU's external borders, public space, digital standards, the internal market,. infrastructure and competitiveness, and promote the cohesion and identity-building of the Union”, he explained. He believes that the corona crisis offers Europeans an interesting possibility for developing their institutions despite long term and widespread resistance to such.

 

EU Will Remain an Important Partner in the Transatlantic Region

Regarding the transatlantic relationship, Hüther stressed that the EU will remain an important partner in the transatlantic region in the future as well. Nevertheless, it should not be assumed that the challenges of the transatlantic relationship will again become less important, regardless of the outcome of the presidential elections in November 2020. Europe and Germany would have to assume a new role, Hüther explained, since the American economy is  currently experiencing westernization due to shifts in population structure, combined with a changed perception of the transatlantic area, Hüther outlined.

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