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Globalizing World Requires Transatlantic Partnership and Leadership

A Conversation with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble

Speaker: Wolfgang Schäuble, Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Germany
Presider: Robert M. Kimmitt, Chairman, American Council on Germany
April 11, 2014

Event Description

With the economic structural reforms enacted in many southern European countries now beginning to show results, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble joins Robert Kimmitt of the American Council of Germany to discuss the current state of the European economic recovery. Schäuble emphasizes the importance of American and European partnership and leadership in the world today. He also discusses the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership treaty currently under negotiation, as well as the need for a harmonization of accounting and regulatory rules between the United States and Europe.

Event Highlights

Wolfgang Schäuble on intelligence gathering and privacy:

"The problem with NSA is not in the first place a problem of intelligence services. It's a problem of how the innovation of technology changes efforts and requirements to protect civil rights. And I think this discussion, which, is much more important, how we can protect our values—civil rights, privacy, freedom, democracy—in times of Internet, in this changing world."

Wolfgang Schäuble on the European economic recovery:

"[T]here is no way beyond structural reforms. We're gaining competitiveness, and that has to be said. Of course, we have to do it in a way which is political to be tolerated, accepted. That is the risk of democracy. But I think until now, we are rather—we are always aware and finding—and looking for the right balance."

Wolfgang Schäuble on the importance of U.S. and EU leadership in the world:

"Sometimes you can feel it in the G-20, and sometimes—and in finance ministers' meeting—that our soft power—and especially the U.S. soft power—in this multilateral framework is not increasing. It must be changed. That must be changed. U.S. have—together with Europe, we have to have a leading role. And I think the rest of the world is urgently waiting that we do so."

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