Commerzbank in Dialogue “Europa – Quo vadis?” and Annual Reception 2018 in Brussels

This year’s Commerzbank in Dialogue “Europa – Quo vadis?” followed by the annual reception took place on 24 September in the Cercle de Lorraine in Brussels. The CEO of Commerzbank AG, Martin Zielke welcomed around 140 guests and introduced the speaker Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources. During the panel discussion the question “Europa – Quo vadis?” and other current challenges in Europe were discussed by Günther Oettinger and Martin Zielke. Martin Zielke said that representative democracies and a social market economy are still the answer to today`s challenges, a return to nationalism is not. Commerzbank rejects any form of racial hatred and violence. He stated that regulation has made banks safer. Now European banks need to regain full strength to compete globally. Only strong banks can support the real economy. The low interest rate environment exerts pressure on the European banking system and drags on profitability and strength. Martin Zielke explained, that we need to find a way out.

G. Oettinger encouraged politicians to talk more about Europe, including in regional election campaigns. According to him, the European election in May 2019 will probably be the most important to date.

After the discussion on the need for a strong banking sector in Europe and the normalisation of interest rates, the guests were invited to a networking reception.