This is the full transcript of speech delivered by Margrethe Vestager, the European Union Antitrust Chief, held at the Business Forum of the German Ambassadors’ Conference, Berlin, 27 August 2019:
Ladies and gentlemen,
It’s a great pleasure, and an honour, to be here with you today. I want to thank Heiko Maas for those kind words, and for inviting me to join you.
I’m especially glad to have the chance to meet with you, who represent Germany’s 230 diplomatic missions around the world, as well as German industry. Because all of us here have an important role to play, to prepare Europe’s economy for the challenges of the future.
And in our working day, or just reading the news headlines, we are very often confronted with the scale of those challenges. Today’s threats to the system of global trade rules pose a serious risk to growth here in Europe, and throughout the world. Brexit remains a major source of uncertainty. We need to make enormous changes to the way we power the world’s economy, to avoid climate change running out of control. And all this is happening at a time when digitisation is transforming our markets – and Europe’s future depends on being, not just an industrial powerhouse, but a digital leader.
Indeed all these challenges can seem daunting. But it is important to remember that Europe has already proved its capacity to take on big challenges. After all, we built the European Union on the ashes of two world wars. And we have just travelled through the biggest financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression.
And we have a good starting point to also face those challenges ahead of us.
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