23 Jan, 2024

Liberal leaders tackle global issues in Davos

On 15-19 January, global leaders from politics and the private sector gathered at the 54th World Economic Forum (WEF) to discuss social, economic and political issues driving today’s world. 

Liberal leaders including European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, Prime Ministers of Belgium Alexander De Croo (Open VLD, BE) and of the Netherlands Mark Rutte (VVD, NL) shared their insights in Forum sessions. 

Vice-President Jourová took part in two key sessions tackling forward-looking regulation on Artificial Intelligence and global trust in media institutions. 

“In Europe, we need a lot of creativity and optimism in looking at AI in all sectors and fields, be it private or public, because AI promises a lot of fantastic benefits for the people. The regulation has the precondition to cover the risks, but the rest remains to be free for creativity and positive thinking,” said Jourová. 

Commissioner Simson spoke about the connection between energy and geopolitics in a panel debate, and took part in a separate event addressing how leaders can carry out the renewable energy transition rapidly and responsibly. 

“Recent times show how interlinked energy and geopolitics have become. Now, it is important to learn from the last energy crisis and enhance our energy security and the resilience of our energy supply chains. Strong partnerships remain of key importance, as does diversification,” she said. 

Prime Minister De Croo met with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and welcomed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at the Belgium House to discuss the future of energy and clean tech. 

Prime Minister Rutte attended a debate on the recalibration of North-South trade cooperation, as well as a town hall meeting exploring the actions that leaders can take to rebuild trust in governing bodies. 

“We can only solve the major issues of our time if we harness the brainpower and ideas of as many people as possible from politics, business and academia. The World Economic Forum is the perfect platform for bringing together people from all over the world and all kinds of sectors,” he said. 

ALDE Party Vice-Presidents Kira Rudik MP (Golos, UA) and Eva Kjer Hansen MP (Venstre, DK) also joined the Forum in Davos. 

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