Celebration of 25th anniversary of British German Forum
27 September, 2010
A panel discussion and reception at Guildhall hosted by Wilton Park and the City of London Corporation took place on 23 September to mark the 25th anniversary of British German Forum.
Established by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1985, the British-German Forum has annually brought together at Wilton Park around 50 young high flyers from the UK and Germany for several days of lively debate on topical issues. Around 1,000 people have taken part in the Forum since its inception, many rising to positions of influence in the fields of politics, business, and the media.
In the spirit of the Forum, the anniversary reception began with a lively panel debate on the theme ‘Britain and Germany – a coalition of interests? The next 25 years’. Panellists included alumni Caroline Wyatt, BBC Defence Correspondent, Andrew Noble, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy Berlin, Ulrich Tüchter, a Director of Daimler Group, and Michael Münter from the Deutscher Bundestag. Panellists agreed that the unpredictable events of the past 25 years cautioned against predictions for the coming generation, but highlighted issues such as the role of Europe and its relationship with re-emerging economies; the impact of social networking; differences and similarities of approach in tackling the economic crisis; and the future of European defence.
Lady Thatcher sent a message of congratulation on occasion of the anniversary. She remarked “The last quarter-century has seen remarkable progress. The Iron Curtain was rent apart, the Berlin Wall torn down, Germany is one again. The strength of the relationship between Britain and Germany has been a crucial component in that progress and at its heart is this Forum”.
For enquiries about next year’s Forum please contact Michèle Hankin michèle.firstname.lastname@example.org