03 Feb, 2021

Liberal leaders debate key issues at the World Economic Forum

On 25-29 January, global leaders from business, government, civil society, and academia convened at the World Economic Forum (WEF) – this time held in a virtual format given the current circumstances – to discuss the social, economic, and political issues that are driving the new and challenging context that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a special focus on the consequences of the pandemic and the solutions to drive a robust recovery, other topics of discussion also included digitalisation, new technologies, the future of work and climate change.

Like many previous years, liberals were present in this year’s forum: Prime Ministers Alexander De Croo (Belgium) and Mark Rutte (Netherlands), as well as Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and ALDE Party member D66 party leader Sigrid Kaag, and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson were all taking part in different panel discussions.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) participated in a discussion on transforming food systems and land use. In his intervention, Rutte stressed that digitalisation and skilled innovation are key to achieve an efficient food system and underlined the key roles that the United Nations, science and data, as well as businesses play to ensure this.

Watch the full debate here

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) shared his views on the future of humankind in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his intervention, De Croo stated that one of the side-effects of the pandemic is the ‘infodemic’ and called for more voices of experts to fight the false information. “This is a moment not to talk about trust but to show that we can be trustworthy”, he said referring to both private and public sectors.

Watch the full debate here

Minister Sigrid Kaag took part in a debate on the resilience of the international trade system where she stressed that the reform of the Word Trade Organization (WTO) is crucial to restore the level playing field and to revive the multilateralism. “We [the EU] are a multilateral player and we heavily rely on the WTO to be efficient, transparent and effective. So, leadership matters in this regard”, she said. Other topics discussed included the distribution of vaccines and the EU-China trade deal.

Watch the full debate here

European Commissioner Kadri Simson participated in a session focused on the policies and practices needed to scale up the clean energy transition. In her intervention, she pointed out that political willingness, technological solutions and financing are the key elements to accelerate the transition. Moreover, she underlined that in the aftermath of the pandemic, placing green values at the heart of the economic recovery is essential.

Watch the full debate here

For more information about the event, visit here

Cookies on ALDE

ALDE uses functional and performance cookies that are necessary for the websites to function as well as possible. These cookies do not use any personal data and no permission is required for this. We also use marketing cookies to tailor the website to your preferences. You can give permission for this below. You can always change your settings on the Privacy Statement page in the cookies section.

Adjust preference
Accept all cookies