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Research meets politics 2020

Rebuilding Europe after Corona: What can France and Germany do?

The exchange between research and politics is at the core of the Research meets politics public discussion event. Comparing views, learning from each other and working on practical solutions for the problems of our time is a necessity all too rarely taken into account. The guests are high-ranking German and French representatives from economy, politics, research and civil society.

Around 500 participants took part in the online event which was organised in cooperation with the French university Sciences Po Paris. The 2020 of Research meets politics focussed on the topic of Rebuilding Europe after Corona: What can France and Germany do?


26 June 2020
09:30am – 09:40amWelcoming remarks by Henrik Enderlein (President of the Hertie School) and Frédéric Mion (President of Sciences Po)
09:40am – 11:15amPanel 1 Rebuilding Europe’s economy after the crisis
11:45am – 13:20pmPanel 2 Comparing different institutional responses to the pandemic: Centralised and decentralised approaches
13:20pm – 13:30pmConcluding remarks by Henrik Enderlein


While European member states initial responses to the Corona crisis demonstrated a lack of exchange and solidarity, the Franco-German proposal for the economic recovery in Europe after the crisis marked a change of course. The exchange between politicians and academics at the conference “Rebuilding Europe after Corona: What can France and Germany do?” on the 26th June 2020 illustrated the importance of building bridges between research and decision-makers by showing which lessons and best practices can already be drawn from this crisis.

The first panel “Rebuilding Europe‘s economy after the crisis“ was introduced by video statements of  Bruno le Maire (French Minister of Economy and Finance) and Olaf Scholz (German Minister of Finance) and revolved around the crisis’ economic effects and instruments for recovery. The Franco-German proposal was unambiguously seen as a milestone and a step into the right direction. However, Europe’s economic recovery particularly as regards ecological transformations and the issue of economic sovereignty are still to be answered.

The second panel “Comparing different institutional responses to the pandemic: Centralised and decentralised approaches“ was introduced by video statements of Jens Spahn (German Health Minister), Amélie de Montchalin (former French Secretary of State for European Affairs) and Michael Roth (German Minister of State for Europe). The panel assessed the institutional responses by France and Germany to the crisis. On the one hand, the different institutional approaches were flagrant and had many repercussions, on the other hand, the strongly affected Franco-German border regions became “laboratories of intensive cooperation”, both sides undergoing a considerable learning process regarding areas of coordination and cooperation.

To sum up, the establishment of long-term structures for an improved coordination and standardization of procedures as well as bottom-up approaches and citizens’ involvement are needed to create effective and widely-supported measures, raising at the same time more fundamental questions on the structures of the European Union and the future of European integration as such.


Panel I

Anke Hassel is Professor of Public Policy at the Hertie School. She has extensive international experience and scientific expertise in the fields of the labour market, social partnership, codetermination and the comparative political economy of developed industrial nations.

Clément Beaune is the Special Advisor – Europe to the French President. Before, he has been the Adviser on European Affairs and Budget to the Office of Carole Delga, French Secretary of State for Trade, Small-Scale Industry, Consumer Affairs and Social and Solidarity Economy in 2014-2015, among many other high-ranking positions in that field.

Franziska Brantner is Spokeswoman for European Politics of the Greens, German Bundestag. Before, she has been a Member of the European Parliament

Jean Pisani-Ferry is Senior Fellow at Bruegel and the Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa chair at the EUI. He has served as Commissioner-General for Policy Planning since 2013, reporting to the French Prime Minister.

Wolfgang Schmidt is the current State Secretary of the German Ministry of Finance. From 2014 until 2015 he was Chair of the Conference of the Länder Ministers for European Affairs and a Member of the European Committee of the Regions from 2015 until 2018. Wolfgang Schmidt previously served as director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Germany and as chief of staff to the German Federal Minister for Labour and Social Affairs and head of the Labour Ministry’s policy and planning unit. He is a lawyer by training.

Sylvie Goulard is Deputy Governor of the Banque de France since 2018. She is also a former Minister of the Armed Forces of Emmanuel Macron and served as member of the European Parliament (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) from 2009-2017. As MEP, she was a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

Lucas Guttenberg is Deputy Director of the Jacques Delors Centre and leads our policy work on European economic policy. In his own work, he mainly focuses on Eurozone reform, on Germany’s role in the EU, and on the state of the Franco-German relationship.

Moderator Panel I: Anne-Sylvaine Chassany is the Paris bureau chief for the Financial Times, writing about politics and the economy. Before joining the FT in 2012, she worked for Bloomberg News and Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal in Paris and London, reporting on mergers and acquisitions, energy and European financial institutions.

Panel II

Daniel Benamouzig is a Research Professor at CNRS, Health Chair of Sciences Po, Member of the National Scientific Committee Covid 19. His research interests at CNRS and at Sciences Po are on health policies, economic sociology and governance. He brings an interest and expertise in public organisations and the scientific field such as the High Health Authority, as he is a member of the Commission of Economic Evaluation and Public Health.

Gisela Erler is the State Counsellor for Civil Society and Civic Participation in the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg. In1967 she was the Co-founder of the first leftist publishing house in the FRG and the first women’s publishing house. In the early 1980s, she was a member of the market-oriented “eco-libertarian greens” and co-published the controversially discussed “Mother Manifest” of the Greens. In 1991 she founded pme Familienservice GmbH, a large provider of corporate work-life solutions. In 2011, Winfried Kretschmann appointed her as the State Councilor for Civil Society and Civic Participation.

Brigitte Klinkert is President of the French Departmental Council Upper Rhine. For more than 30 years and through her political commitments and mandates, she has attached great importance to European and Franco-German cooperation.

Patrizia Nanz joined the IASS as a Scientific Director in 2016 and is a Professor of Transformative Sustainability Studies at the University of Potsdam. She conducts research on the development of enabling environments for societal transformation. Professor Nanz is co-chair of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030, which advises the German government with the support of a steering group of prominent figures from academia and representatives from the business community and civil society.

Andrea Römmele is Dean of Executive Education and Professor of Communication in Politics and Civil Society at the Hertie School. Her research interests are comparative political communications, political parties and public affairs. She is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal for Political Consulting and Policy Advice and also works as a consultant to political and corporate campaigns.

Cornelia Woll is professor of political science, co-director of the Max Planck Sciences Po Center and a researcher at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics and the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies at Sciences Po. Her research focuses on the international political economy and economic sociology, in particular regulatory issues in the European Union and the United States.

Moderator Panel II: Michaela Wiegel has been reporting from Paris as political correspondent for France since February 1998. After graduating from Sciences Po Paris in 1993, she obtained a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 1995. In 1995, she joined Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as a political news editor.