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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Law | Walter Hallstein Institute | News and Events | Winter Semester 2019/2020 | Humboldt-Speech on Europe from Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Parliament

Humboldt-Speech on Europe from Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Parliament

1193 HRE Schaeuble

On the 5th of December, the President of the German Bundestag, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, gave a speech,
a Humboldt speech on Europe in the full Senate Hall in the main building of the Humboldt University. In the speech he called for faster action and an end to hesitation and procrastination on the multidimensional problems that face us. Europe could not only be a "continent of good conscience".

In digitisation, he said, Europe needed a new dynamism and a business location that would set itself apart from the powerful players from Silicon Valley and those from China, especially when dealing with sensitive data.

1160 HRE Schaeuble

In the field of climate protection, it was up to Europe to play a pioneering role after the USA withdrew from the Paris Climate Protection Agreement and to push ahead with global goals through its own example and minimum standards in free trade agreements. Climate protection as a global challenge also requires massive investments by the EU in Africa, South America and Asia, as the climate can be protected much more effectively there.

Additionally, more should be ventured at an institutional level, such as the direct election of the future Commission President. New impulses for the further development of the treaties are urgently needed and should also come from the European Parliament. In his opinion, the current problems can also be seen as opportunities to push ahead with deeper reforms. However, the aim cannot be the "constitutional finality" of the European Treaties at present, but a Europe that can "guarantee freedom, security and prosperity in a globalised world".

After the speech, the topic of asylum policy in particular was taken up by the audience. The President of the Bundestag called for an increased search for human rights-compliant solutions outside the EU and stronger action against gangs of smugglers.

The text of the speech in german can be found at

The recording of the speech can also be accessed in german here: