January 30th 2013

Lessons to be drawn from the European financial crisis.

Undersecretary Werner Gatzer, Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin

On 28 January 2013 the Entrepreneurial School® Management Center Innsbruck hosted another event in the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series: Werner Gatzer, Undersecretary of the German Federal Ministry of Finance, had been invited to give a talk on the lessons to be drawn from the European financial crisis. The lecture was presented by Oliver Stock, editor-in-chief of Handelsblatt Online.

In his introductory remarks the presenter described Undersecretary Werner Gatzer as a “tower of strength” in German financial politics, as in the course of his career as undersecretary he has worked with a number of different finance ministers and has been, and still is, confronted with politicians of all colors. Nevertheless Gatzer, a graduate of law school, has not yet tired of dealing with the intricacies of German budgetary planning on a day-to-day basis.

In the course of the lecture it soon became clear that Werner Gatzer is an advocate of the EU and the euro. According to him, we are currently “not experiencing a euro crisis but a crisis of national debts,” and finding a way towards “more Europe” is vital in order to be able to take on the future together. Undersecretary Gatzer had no difficulty in identifying the lessons to be drawn from the financial crisis: we need to avoid excessive deficits, reduce national debts, create joint preventive and corrective financial market regulations, and improve the competitiveness of all EU member states. The word “together” was a key word in his lecture; in Gatzer’s opinion the lessons we have learned can only be put into practice by working together on a European level. “We can do it if we work together,” Gatzer said. He concluded his lecture by emphasizing again the importance of promoting “more” Europe, of vesting the European Union with more powers, rather than curbing its influence.