Peter Altmaier visits EBS Universität
Welcomed the visitor from Berlin: EBS President Prof. Markus Ogorek (left) and EBS Chancellor Prof. Julia Sander (centre) with Federal Minister of Economics and Energy Peter Altmaier (right).
Despite the seriousness of the topic, the Federal Minister of Economics and Energy was surprisingly relaxed and spoke with both wit and esprit. He began by saying: “I can give this speech in German or in Hessian dialect, as you wish”, immediately winning over his audience. On the subject of the EBS, he said: “We think it’s great that this university exists and that students from all over the world can learn and think together. This is especially important, considering that one of you could become the next German Chancellor”, said Altmaier, who is also honorary senator of the Federal Academy of Public Administration.
In his speech, Altmaier spoke about current social challenges and changes “which are not to be underestimated”. He stressed that international task-sharing and dispensing with protectionism in the past had made a significant contribution to lasting prosperity and expressed his concern about relapsing into the small-state mentality. It is now crucial not to miss out on innovations, for example in the field of digitisation. Differentiating between the virtual world and the “world of material things” will soon belong to the past. We have to stay on the ball here, but also not lose sight of ecological and social issues.
Open to questions from the guests and informative
The minister, who has been a member of the German Bundestag since 1994, was happy to answer the audience’s questions. The students were particularly interested in the Brexit negotiations, the rise of right-wing populism and social issues such as housing. The reason law student Nina Kühn went to the presentation was the current Hessian election campaign: “I am here for personal reasons, because this year is the first time I am eligible to vote”. But also guests from Oestrich-Winkel were thrilled to meet a Federal politician face-to-face. University President Markus Ogorek was pleased that his students showed such interest in political issues: “When young people get involved and take their future into their own hands, then we have fulfilled our educational mandate”.