New Year’s Reception 2016
- January 20, 2016
- 11:30 to 16:00
- Grand Elysée, Rothenbaumchaussee 10, 20148 Hamburg
A Positive View for Middle East
More than 100 partners and members followed the invitation to the EMA New Year’s Reception to start the new year. In addition to high-ranking representatives from business and politics, science and culture, representatives of Arab foreign missions also attended the reception at the Hotel Grand Elysée in Hamburg.
The event was opened by EMA President Christian Wulff, who reviewed the past year and pointed out the global challenges that are facing us today. Especially in view of the “worldwide backlog of problems” resulting from violence, climate change, reduced confidence in the financial markets, the refugee crisis and the rapid population growth with simultaneous water and food shortages, it is important to talk more with each other in order to find solutions together. Since its foundation, the EMA has been dealing with these and other trend-setting topics away from media attention. The cooperative approach to solutions serves as a credo and best practice examples should be brought into focus. “We need a positive vision for the Middle East,” Wulff demanded, referring to the CSCE process in Europe before 1990.
“An organization that is needed”
Through partnership-based cooperation at eye level, unused potential can be used and at the same time economic and social structures can be strengthened. At this point, Wulff expressly thanked the female entrepreneurs in the Ouissal mentoring project for their exemplary commitment, which not least also creates jobs in the region. He added that it was particularly impressive to observe what was happening in the countries of the Mediterranean and Middle East region during the EMA delegation trips. Concrete projects of this kind make an indispensable contribution to Germany’s outstanding role in contemporary diplomatic relations. The work of the EMA is more important today than ever before and it is significant that an organization can claim to be needed.
“Libya as a symbol of cooperation”.
The German ambassador to Libya, Christian Much, who presented the focus country of this year’s New Year’s reception, also joined in. With his fact-rich lecture “Libya – state collapse or new chance?” he gave the guests a profound insight into the fate of the North African country. He explained both historical contexts and current political developments. The potentially very wealthy Libya is facing enormous challenges, in view of which the negotiating parties in the Libyan peace process feel compelled to reach a consensus and build sustainable common institutions. Much was hopeful: “The peace agreement of December 2015 and the speed with which the cabinet list for Libya’s new government was presented within a few weeks demonstrate the seriousness of all negotiating parties. With the necessary foreign support, the dialogue could be continued and Libya could serve as a “symbol of cooperation” for other countries as well. “It can work,” Much concluded.
After his presentation, Ambassador Much was available to answer the interested questions of the guests. They gratefully accepted the offer. The event was rounded off by a champagne reception with the opportunity for B2B talks and a menu in the stylish ambience of the Hall of Mirrors in the Hotel Grand Elysée, where the guests had the opportunity for intensive discussions about current and planned projects in the region.