On Tuesday I’m off to London for a few days. Always enjoyable.
It’s mainly due to a meeting of the Advisory Board of the Centre for European Reform, and in addition I will be moderating and speaking at a seminar discussing what contribution a European industrial policy can make to the competitiveness of the European economy.
The CER meetings are devoted both to the business of running the think-thank and to discussing political issues of importance.
This time we will devote ourselves to what’s likely to happen in France in the years ahead. With both presidential and parliamentary elections coming up in 2007 that is a question of profound European importance.
And in addition to the CER engagements, I will take the opportunity of a number of meetings with the UK government. Their thinking is also of importance – and there is much on the European and global agenda at the moment.
From London I’m heading to Berlin. It wasn’t long since I was there, but the city is rapidly gaining in European importance. J
Just a few days ago Nicolas Sarkozy – likely French presidential candidate in 2007 – was there and delivered a policy speech on his views of Europe. And just a few days ago UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was there as well.
Also here I will have some talks with German government representatives on different issues.
But the main reason for me being there is a major conference by Aspen Institute Italia, bringing some of the most interesting people of Germany and Italy – and a few others – together for two days of intense exchange of views on mainly European topics.
It’s highly topical. Italy is heading for elections on April 9 and 10. It’s Romano Prodi versus Silvio Berlusconi – but it’s also two parliamentary alternatives of different types. Both camps will be amply represented in our discussions in the shadow of the Brandenburger gate – it will be interesting.