Regional Conference: Security and Trust – the Future of the EU
On 28-30 September 2017, the ESU and the CSU-Seniorenunion organised a regional conference in Munich about ‘Security and Trust – the Future of the EU’.
On the first day, the participants of the conference were welcomed by ESU Vice-president Elle Garczyk.
After that, ESU President An Hermans delivered a speech in which she reaffirmed “serving fellow citizens” as a priority task for all political and social action. The ESU and its affiliates are specifically involved in this, according to An Hermans. The spectrum of fields of activity ranges from defence against terrorism, across the shaping of climate change and digitisation to economic and social welfare. The design of Europe also required visions; with “a few measures” it is not done. (Read her original speech in German here.)
Dr. Thomas Goppel, chairman of the CSU Seniors and former minister of state, explained in his speech that he sees Europe as a “leader” in the human rights debate. For Markus Blume, member of the Bavarian state parliament and deputy Secretary-General of the CSU, the “three fundamental roots” of open Europe, liberal democracy and social market economy are to be defended against external attacks. Further, Prof. Dr. Ursula Münch, Director of the Academy for Political Education in Tutzing, saw the EU’s capacity to act in the face of global challenges as primarily critical. Prelate Dr. Lorenz Wolf, head of the Catholic Office in Bavaria, noted that change is taking place faster than ever before. Examples include storage of knowledge, the revolution in communication and social processes.
During the second day of the Conference, Bernd Posselt, President of the Pan-European Union of Germany, emphasized that the “Europeans are more united than divided”. Minister of State Joachim Herrmann, spoke as one of the initiators of the CSU Seniors’ Union. “The right to security is one of the most important of the state”, he declared, and this “monopoly of force” was consistently implemented in Bavaria. For MEP Heinz K. Becker, ESU Vice president and Secretary-General of the Austrian Seniors’ Association, “it is clear that in Germany the fearful citizens have decided the election campaign”. Their concerns are to be taken seriously, at the same time rejecting their lies and half-truths.
On the final day of the conference, MEP Markus Ferber, Chairman of the South Swabia CSU and regional chairman of the Europa-Union Bavaria, applied himself to dealing with personal data and border protection. In Germany, “we will not make progress with our internal security with our federalism,” he said. He sees deficits in the fact that data does not have the required quality, is stored in the wrong place or is not retrieved.
Elke Garczyk, who is also a member of the board of the CSU Seniors’, concluded that the contributions to the speeches and discussions did justice to the large information requirements of the population across all age groups and are appropriately socially responsible in the sense of security and trust.
For a more detailed summary of the Regional Conference see Senior International 152.