Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini Headline Discussions on Distrust at Brussels Forum
Watch full event videos with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini
BRUSSELS - The Steigenberger Wiltcher’s ballroom was filled to capacity to listen to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki address policymakers from across Europe and the United States. Despite recent controversies between Brussels and the EU, the prime minister struck a conciliatory tone. “We try to find a common language with our Western European partners, because I truly believe in Europe,” Prime Minister Morawiecki told the BBC’s Katya Adler in a conversation that addressed the controversies between Poland and Brussels.
The discussion was part of the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum, taking place March 8–10 at the Wiltcher’s Steigenberger. GMF’s Brussels Forum, now in its 13th year, gathers thought leaders from government, business, journalism, and academia for discussions of pressing global issues.
The conversation came at a time when the trust in the transatlantic relationship has increasingly come into question, with the Trump administration’s recent announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum calling trading relationships within the United States and Europe. “We believe in trade with the United States. We believe in reciprocity and this is why I say, in case needed, we will protect our interests, but this is not our attitude. Our attitude is to invest in free and fair trade and we see this as beneficial for the European economy and for the US economy,” said Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission.
The theme of GMF’s 2018 Brussels Forum, Revise, Reboot, Rebuild: Strategies for a Time of Distrust, reflects a time where common ground often feels increasingly difficult to find. The conference, which started on International Women’s Day, featured four all woman panels and 38 percent female participation. “GMF has always been committed to issues of diversity and gender balance,” said Karen Donfried, GMF President. “Women have been making big impact on policy for a long time. If you look at just our agenda today, we have Federica Mogherini, Rose Gottemoeller, Manisha Singh, Ana Gomes, Susan Ness, Michèle Flournoy, just to name some of those headliners. Women are leading today. I don't know if she's in the room now, but a trailblazer has been Madeleine Albright, and she will be with us over these next couple of days.”
Conversations throughout the day emphasized that despite tensions, there is a need to build trust. “We have real differences, but we need to limit the damage,” said Michele Flournoy, Co-Founder and Managing Director of WestExec.
PRESS CONTACT INFORMATION
GMF's Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential U.S., European, and global political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic. With 53 countries represented and more than 800 attendees, the 12th annual GMF's Brussels Forum includes senior officials from European Union institutions and the member states, U.S. government officials and Congressional representatives, parliamentarians, academics, and media.
GMF is proud to be joined by our founding partners, Daimler and the Federal Authorities of Belgium, as well as our strategic partner, Deloitte. We are pleased to welcome Boeing, BP, Brussels Capital Region, Centrica, Microsoft, and the OCP Policy Center as forum partners. We would also like to recognize our associate partners: AARP, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, NATO, and the Wilfried Martens Centre, and our GMF's Brussels Forum Breakout Dinner partners — Elnet, Solvay, and Strategeast. In addition, we want to acknowledge the support of our GMF's Brussels Forum Young Professionals Summit partners — Silver Parker Group and the United States Mission to the European Union. Intelligence Squared U.S. is the official Oxford-Style Debate partner and POLITICO is the official digital media partner for GMF’s Brussels Forum. Lastly, we thank King Baudoin Foundation as a leading Belgian Institution for their support.