Europa – quo vadis?

Europe is wrestling for the opportunity of global growth in economically turbulent times. "Europe, quo vadis?" was the question at the core of the interesting speeches given by Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of the Management Board, former EU Commissioner Franz Fischler and former ZDF chief reporter Alexander Niemetz at Stahlwelten 2012.

Are the EU policies threats or opportunities?

Wolfgang Eder spoke about the threats and opportunities that stem from the European industrial policies. "Europe can only exist as countries united in their purposes in an increasingly competitive global economy. There are no alternatives. If we cannot stand united, we are placing the future of the coming generation in question," Wolfgang Eder said in his presentation.

"The European Union is the largest political experiment," Franz Fischler explained, "and it needs strong leadership coupled with intense dialog with its citizens."

Alexander Niemetz argumented that "the euro is not in a crisis, but it is much more a crisis of trust and confidence."

United, not alone.

A vivid example of how united effort is most efficient was shown in a special group experiment that illustrated the concept of swarm intelligence. The average value of all the answers given by a group (swarm) is usually very close to the correct answer.

Once around the world

The evening Business Dinner, high above the rooftops of the city of Linz and the blast furnaces of voestalpine, provided the right atmosphere for a continuation of the intense discussions, which were highlighted by keynote speaker Bertrand Piccard from a different perspective. The scientist and adventurist who was the first person to circumvent the globe on a non-stop trip in a balloon wooed the 460 invited guests with his exciting speech and pioneer spirit. The final highlight of the evening was a performance by 13-time Grammy winner Herbie Hancock, who rounded off the evening perfectly with his stirring jazz melodies.