Europe needs to be more than just a junior partner of China or the USA
Exclusive guest article by Oliver Hermes in the “Kommersant”, a Russian national daily newspaper
The coronavirus crisis presents Europe in particular with an unprecedented challenge. In a guest article in the “Kommersant”, one of Russia’s largest national daily newspapers, Oliver Hermes, President and CEO of the Wilo Group, and also Chairman of the German Eastern Business Association, explains why in the midst of the crisis he sees a great opportunity for the continent of Europe.
The key message in the article is his call for joint efforts of Russia and the EU to create a coordinated industrial strategy. “The European continent can succeed in repositioning itself in international competition if, based on a joint EU-Russia strategy, further sectoral or functional strategies are developed, such as strategies for energy, climate protection and digital transformation, with all interdependencies with regard to a newly defined joint industrial strategy. It is now a matter of building a sovereign and solidary continent that is more than a junior partner of China or the USA,” writes Oliver Hermes.
Europe needs to catch up in the areas of research, development and education. Also, the digital transformation and climate change need to be regarded as the absolute future priorities. To this end, it is now time to finally initiate a sensible exchange on a common economic and industrial area from Vladivostok to Lisbon, linking the EU, Russia and its neighbouring partner countries.
Furthermore, Oliver Hermes views the coronavirus pandemic as offering the opportunity to create not only an economic but also a humanitarian partnership between the EU and Russia. In this context, the exchange of medical experts via platform concepts of associations, but also private sector initiatives and sponsored projects can set an example.