'Trying something new is now more necessary than ever'
Siegfried Muresan, 39, was elected to the European Parliament in 2014 and since 2019 has been deputy chairperson of the Christian Democrats EVP/glp Group. He is a member of the National Liberal Party of Romania. Muresan was awarded a DAAD scholarship and from 2004 to 2006 he successfully completed his master's degree course in Economics and Management at the Humboldt University of Berlin.
'My vision of Europe is that we appreciate what has been achieved and at the same time create opportunities for young people. Modernisation and digitisation, research and innovation will be used to generate new jobs. The younger generation's entire career will unfold in a European context: young people now growing up in Hamburg or Turin will collaborate just as closely with colleagues from Estonia, Portugal or Bulgaria as they do with other Germans or Italians.
They will moreover, unlike their parents and grandparents, not be able to perform the same job in the same place for forty years. Young people therefore need to exhibit openness and international flexibility. We need to educate them to this end – and that's why I feel it's so important that the exchange of young people across Europe continues to be funded on a massive scale. Trying something new is now more necessary than ever – and at the same time the opportunities for entrepreneurs are also better. The EU offers great funding options and a market with 500 million consumers. Young Europeans with a business concept should have the courage to set up their own business.
We have learned from every crisis in recent years that people expect Europe to provide solutions. As a budgetary policy maker, I'm committed to ensuring that the EU also has the necessary means to do so. The EU reacted in a flexible manner during the corona crisis: despite not having extensive competence in healthcare, it succeeded in providing funding to purchase medicines and protective masks, which were then distributed to those countries that urgently needed them. The European institutions are better than their reputation! Citizens do however need to be made aware of the results of their work.
At the same time, it's essential for us as politicians to know what people expect of us. We can't just sit in our offices in Brussels and assess all the effects of our own decisions, we need feedback. That's why events like the alumni forum 'Shaping Europe – Strengthening Europe: Ideas for Europe' are so important. This hybrid event also demonstrated that we don't necessarily need to meet in person to enjoy an intense experience of Europe. The corona crisis has accelerated digitisation and resulted in us all being better connected; we in Europe will be able to exchange ideas digitally in a variety of ways even when the crisis has passed. The alumni event was a good example of that.'
On 1 October 2020, to mark the German EU Council Presidency, the DAAD organised an event for its alumni from the 27 EU countries that focused on questions concerning the future of the EU. Leading German and European personalities participated in the event, which was organised under the patronage of Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and held partly in person and partly online. See here for full details of the event.