The 56th edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) brought together world leaders from politics, the private sector, civil society and academia to discuss key global challenges in areas such as climate, defence and technology under the theme of ‘Westlessness’ – the idea that the Western values are under threat in the West and the rest of the world.
With leaders such as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, European Commission Executive Vice-President for A Europe fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager and Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová, as well as Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, European liberals maintained their strong, global voice at the annual conference, which took place from 14-16 February.
Voicing a renewed call for international cooperation, Executive Vice-President Vestager highlighted the need for renewed multilateralism in a panel debate on ‘Westlessness in the World: Multilateralism in a Changing International Order’, emphasising how the international community must “use assertiveness to reassess how we can make multilateralism work”.
See the full panel debate here.
During his intervention on the panel ‘Keeping it Pacific: Managing Security Relations in Asia’ Prime Minister Rutte stated that core values must be upheld and that a strong relationship between Europe, Asia and the United States is necessary. “Collectively, the three of us, the EU, America, and Asia, are much stronger together”, he said.
See the full intervention here.
Commissioner Breton emphasized “the battle of industrial data starts now, and the main battlefield will be here in Europe” during his intervention in the debate of ‘Corporate Responsibility to Protect: The Politics of Big Data’. As Europe is the biggest data producer, the EU will make sure that European companies are benefit from the “tsunami of Big Data”.
See the full debate here.
President Čaputová and Vice-President Jourová demanded strong rules to defend democracy and the rule of law at panel discussion ‘Eurovision Contest: A Europe That Protects’.
During her opening speech, President Čaputová stressed how political leaders must unite to protect freedom and democracy, reminding the audience that “democracy is about everyday respect and observance of rules and not about bypassing them. Simply put, it is about responsibility”.
Vice-President Jourová stressed the importance of making the EU more democratic and transparent through the Conference on the Future of Europe that will “discuss big things with the people”. “Our ambition should be to include people in creating the solutions. Otherwise, it is a top-down exercise”, she concluded.
See the full panel discussion here.
As liberals, we believe that in this new world order, Europe faces profound challenges and European citizens must remain at the centre of our policies. The EU must play a leading role to addressing issues of cybersecurity, data protection and privacy in order to become a fully digital society.
See more about the MSC here.