KAS europe

Workshop on European Issues

Wolfgang Pusztai at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation

06.07.23 / Lago di Como, Italy

This year's Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) “Workshop on European Issues” took place from 7-9 July at Konrad Adenauer’s favorite summer ressort, the Villa La Collina in Cadenabbia, on the west shore of Lago di Como, Italy. AIES Senior Advisor Wolfgang Pusztai attended as a representative of the AIES.

The event focused on four main topics: Green Hydrogen, the EU’s Agenda in the Middle East; North Africa, EU-Ukraine Relations and the upcoming European elections in 2024.

Mitigating climate change by the use of renewable energy is one of the key challenges of this century. Green Hydrogen could play a major role in this, but the political implications, prospects and risks of this new technology must be better understood to avoid investments going in the wrong direction. Green Hydrogen must be made economically viable, avoiding too high costs. The population does not want to be overburdened for the climate.

The EU’s Agenda in the Middle East, North Africa should be driven by common interests, but it is difficult to identify those in such a concrete way that allows to derive concrete objectives. A new format is required for cooperation with the MENA region, but it should build on ENP and already existing policies. Leadership might be with countries like Germany and Portugal, who have a high credibility, but no colonial background in this region. Migration is a huge challenge, but there is no way to contain it without a proper strategy for the stabilization of Africa. Such a strategy must at first contain the “multipliers” for destabilization and emigration (demographic developments, environmental degradation, and corruption) and improve good governance.

The future of EU-Ukraine Relations in the nexus between EU-enlargement and rebuilding Ukraine is a key question. The - understandable - Ukrainian desire to join the EU must be balanced with political realities. One thing is for sure, Ukraine's joining of the EU will be the most ambitious and most challenging enlargement in the EU's history.

At the end of the workshop, with regard to the European Elections 2024, the Position Paper of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag "A Strong Europe for Peace, Freedom, Security, and Prosperity - Our Principles for a European Policy" was presented and discussed. The paper states the fundamental positions regarding the major issues on the European agenda that this Group has agreed on.

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