Talk in the Park

Commissioner Oettinger Supports Reforming Decision-Making Structures in the EU

EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger Visits the Robert Bosch Stiftung

Economics, currency, and energy - the three greatest challenges facing Europe - were the topic of EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger’s "Talk in the Park" on July 13, 2012. In light of the current sovereign debt crisis, the former Ministerpräsident (head of a federal German state) of Baden-Württemberg, who today is responsible for the European Union’s energy policy, warned against questioning European integration overall. According to Mr. Oettinger, EU countries are simply too small alone to make their voices heard by the United States as well as China, India, and other emerging nations. The only chance Europeans have at playing a role in shaping global challenges is by staying together.

As a result of the crisis, Oettinger called for the EU’s institutions and decision-making structures to be reformed. Its members are so deep in debt that every day the capital markets need to make several billion euros available to replace expiring loans with new ones. But investors will only be willing to do so if Europe improves its capacity to take action.

In the field of energy policy, Oettinger warned that the expansion of wind and solar energy could lead to blackouts if the fluctuating levels of power produced by these sources are not compensated for using storage systems or other power plants. In addition, Germany lacks a national strategy for transporting wind power from northern Germany to the large industrial users in the southern part of the country. Without the appropriate power grids, the "energy revolution" sought for in Germany threatens to fail.

Picture Gallery

Photos: Robert Thiele
From left: EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, Dr. Ingrid Hamm, Executive Director Robert Bosch Stiftung, Franz Fehrenbach, Chairman of Robert Bosch GmbH's Supervisory Board, and his wife Gaby Fehrenbach
The guests gathering at Robert Bosch Haus
Mayor Georg Brenner, Stadtverwaltung Gerlingen, and Mayor Dr. Bernd Vöhringer, Stadt Sindelfingen
From left: Dirk Hoheisel, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr. Peter Linder, Schwäbische Bank AG, Ann-Katrin Bauknecht, Honorary Consul General of Nepal, Wolfgang Chur, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Robert Bosch Stiftung
From left: Prof. Dr. Sabine Ludwigs, Institut für Polymerchemie Universität Stuttgart, Erwin Lehmann, Marsh GmbH, Joachim Rukwied, President Landesbauernverband Baden-Württemberg, Dr. Brigitte Dahlbender, BUND Baden-Württemberg
From left: Professor Dr. Sabine Ludwigs, Institut für Polymerchemie Universität Stuttgart, Erwin Lehmann, Marsh GmbH Deutschland, Joachim Rukwied, President Landesbauernverband Baden-Württemberg, and Martina Koederitz, IBM Deutschland GmbH
From left: Stefan Schott, Head of the Foundation's Communication Department, Professor Dr. Andreas Löschel, Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW), and Dr. Ingrid Hamm, Executive Director of the Robert Bosch Stiftung
Franz Fehrenbach, Chairman of Robert Bosch GmbH’s Supervisory Board, signs the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s guestbook
Franz Fehrenbach
EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger spoke about economics, currency, and energy
Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Rall and Joachim Rukwied, President Landesbauernverband Baden-Württemberg
Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, and Eberhard Stilz, President Staatsgerichtshof Baden-Württemberg and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Robert Bosch Stiftung