The theme of the 60th Young Königswinter Conference was “In times of radical change, do we need radical new ideas?“. The up to 40 participants discussed the following three topics:
Old and new alliances, increased competition: do we have to re-think the global architecture? What about the post-Brexit relationship between Germany and the UK?
- Does global multilateralism still give adequate answers to the challenges of today: terrorism, climate change, cyber, migration?
- Are we witnessing a decline of the West (MSC 2020: “Westlessness”)? How do we agree on joint strategies when more and more countries are choosing to look inwards and there seems to be a lack of common understanding what the West represents? NATO’s role?
- The EU’s strategic outreach: the EU’s and the UK’s policy towards Russia and China and towards Africa (Libya), the Middle East (Iran, Saudi-Arabia and Syria) and Afghanistan
- Reform of the EU, defence cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Feminist Foreign Policy (see governments of Sweden, Canada and Mexico)
- New EU-UK-Germany relationship?
Are our economies set for the new decade? How can Britain and Germany best cooperate?
- Climate change and climate justice: Do we have to change our economic model in order to be successful at climate reform (smaller focus on GDP)? What about a wellbeing budget? An eventual move to net zero economies will impact everything – are we prepared?
- Industrial strategies in the era of globalisation: more focus on fighting inequality and redistribution of wealth, role of the state, role of the private sector (and trade unions) and the social partners
- Universal Basic Income
- Financial Transaction Tax and other tax reforms
- Housing policies
- European cooperation, mission-led innovation: How can we lead in digitalisation and AI, instead of it leading us?
- Future of work: Gender Equality, e.g.: Is it time to introduce equal parental leave for both men and women, 4-day work week, digitalisation and AI, post-EU legislation for work in UK
- Policies/instruments for more stable and transparent global financial systems
With social cohesion in decline, how do we re-organize society?
- Are our established political parties in decline? Do we need to prioritize who we are creating policies for? How do we make parliaments more diverse? How to deal with right-wing extremists and their respective political parties?
- Political class and the estranged citizen: Are our political institutions more broken than we realise? What are the strategies for dealing with fragmented election results that make coalition building nearly impossible? Can minority governments work in todays’ polarised world? Does the UK need an electoral reform? Is (German) proportional representation (still) a good model? Representative parliamentary democracies and strong citizens’ movements and initiatives: what kind of policies for partnership and cooperation?
- Increased regional representation in the UK, British devolution and German Federalism, structural inequalities between cities and the country require what kind of policy mix?
- How do the UK and Germany cope with the growing generational divide?