Member of the German Bundestag, Former German Foreign Minister
Europe in an awkward world
Looking at Europe today, we see the continent as an area of tension between opposites. At the same time, Europe envisages an entirely new role for itself: as a player on the world stage. This is a role that Europe has never had before, though – it was reserved for the European permanent members on the UN Security Council, France and the UK, but mostly for the USA. These found themselves ‘overstretched’, however, and are retreating more and more from their old roles. Other powers such as China and Russia are attempting to exploit this vacuum, and represent a challenge to Europe. Europe needs answers that can find consensus if it wants to assume a creative function again.
Sigmar Gabriel, born in 1959, is a member of the German Bundestag and until 2018 was Germany’s Foreign Minister, having been Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from 2005 to 2009, and Minister for Economics and Energy, as well as Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany between 2013 and 2017. Already involved from an early age in the youth organisation ‘Socialist Youth of Germany – The Falcons’, which is closely linked to the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Gabriel entered the SPD in 1977 and began his political career in municipal politics in his home town of Goslar. He was elected to the Lower Saxony State Parliament in 1990, later led the SPD parliamentary group for Lower Saxony, and in 1999 became Minister-President of Lower Saxony. From 2009 to 2017, Gabriel was also the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
Pictures of the event
© 2018 Andrea Camen Photography