“New Challenges for Foreign and Security Politics in Europe”, keynote speech by the deputy chairman of the SDP faction in the German Bundestag Dr. Gernot Erler

(September 16th, 2011, 11:00 a.m., Hilton Hotel, Sofia)

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The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Bulgaria, and with the support of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, organized a keynote speech by the deputy chairman of the SDP faction in the German Bundestag Dr. Gernot Erler, entitled “New Challenges for Foreign and Security Politics in Europe”.

As a prominent figure in the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany Dr. Erler focused on the international developments we’ve become witness in the last decade. In his opinion Germany and the whole international community have made enormous sacrifices to keep the peace. In places like Afghanistan his country is one of the leading ones that fights for a more secure and prosperous world. In his speech, Dr. Erler also emphasized on the challenges his country and its Allies face in other places around the globe threatened by terrorism, violent extremism and piracy.

During his visit in Bulgaria, Dr. Erler paid attention on Bulgaria’s fight against corruption and organized crime. The German politician said that Bulgaria has made enormous efforts and that such challenges exist in many countries around the world. He warned that Bulgaria should do more about its image abroad, otherwise the country would face heavy damage on its economy and would drop the trust in Bulgaria among the other EU countries.

In the end of his speech, Mr. Erler expressed hopes that although the challenges we are facing today in the EU and in the whole world, our future is still bright and we will be able to get over them.