United Europe met for its second General Assembly on October 8th in Berlin. Led by President Wolfgang Schuessel, members discussed the current situation in Europe and how United Europe can work towards its goal of a diverse and competitive Europe. The association’s Managing Directors Bettina Vestring and Christoph Riess presented the 2014 results with a special focus on the projects United Europe initiated last year.
United Europe’s Young Professional Seminar series is identified as its flagship programme with three seminars conducted in 2015 and a further three planned for 2016. These will take place in London (UK), Arosa (Switzerland) and Lake Como (Italy) and discuss topics of particular interest to the next generation.
Activities in 2015 included two United Europe lectures held by renowned business leaders from outside Europe on a topic of interest to European business and political leaders. The latest such lecture was held by Fumio Sudo, chairman of TEPCO, the Japanese energy company that owns the Fukushima power plant. Further such lectures are planned for 2016 with details to follow.
United Europe also holds regular CEO Roundtables to encourage high-ranking business leaders and politicians to openly exchange and discuss ideas on Europe. Previous Roundtables covered topics such as the euro, infrastructure, and growth policy in the eurozone.
To further expand United Europe’s activities, a new format for European Entrepreneurs will launch in 2016. The first workshop will take place in April 2016 and aims to bring together experienced entrepreneurs and new start-ups from all over Europe.
In 2014 and 2015, United Europe also collaborated with other organisations to publish three large studies on relevant European topics. Last year, the association presented a study on privatisation drawn up by the Economica Institute. In 2015, United Europe published a detailed study drawn up by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants on ‘Improving Europe’s infrastructure financing’ as well as a study by the Vienna Institute for Economic Studies (wiiw) on reforming Ukraine’s economy. Further such studies are planned for 2016. For more information or potential collaboration in this area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
During the General Assembly in Berlin, members also approved the discharge of the Managing Directors and the Board. After the first two years of the association, the association’s board was also up for re-election.
Members unanimously and enthusiastically took the following decisions:
- Wolfgang Schüssel was again elected as President of United Europe.
- As Gavin O’Reilly had stepped down as Vice President due to other commitments, Long standing supporter and mentor of the Young Professionals seminar series Anthony Ruys was elected as one of two Vice-President posts. The former Heineken CEO will be holding this post together with Sylvie Goulard, member of the European Parliament and strong supporter of United Europe.
- Jürgen Grossmann was re-elected as Treasurer and Margaret Jay of Paddington was elected newly to the Board. Board members Friedrich Merz, Walter Schlebusch and Daniela Schwarzer were re-elected.
The Management team also saw some changes as Managing Director Christoph Riess left United Europe at the end of October. To take on his tasks as well as to expand its project and network activities, United Europe recruited Jenny Paul, who joined as Project Director in October. She will be working together with Managing Director Bettina Vestring.
The General Assembly closed with the members present confirming their strong and continuing support for United Europe’s mission. United Europe defines itself as a clearly pro-European and pro-market organisation. While United Europe welcomes the debate with people that hold fundamentally different views on Europe, they would not be admissible as members, a stance that was once more confirmed by the October General Assembly.