It was a great pleasure for me, as a member of the Economic Council, to be invited to its 60th anniversary in Berlin.
The President of the Economic Council, Astrid Hamke, summarised the event as follows:
The Economic Council (Wirtschaftsrat der CDU e.V.) is a German business association representing the interests of more than 11,000 small and medium sized firms, as well as larger multinational companies. We provide our members with a platform to engage in a continuous dialogue with leading decision makers, both in Germany and Europe. We advocate economic policies which best reflect the principles of a social market economy as envisaged by Ludwig Erhard, Minister for Economic Affairs in the German Federal Republic between 1949 and 1963 and one of the co-founders of the Economic Council.
Our members are drawn from all sectors of the business and entrepreneurial community, including banking and finance, insurance, the automotive and chemical industries, healthcare and high-tech. Members can be companies, independent business executives or freelance professionals.
The diverse nature of our membership yields significant political weight when addingpolicy proposals to the political agenda. We ensure that the principles of the social market economy are taken into account within the decision making process, not only in Berlin and Brussels but also in the German federal states.
What does the Economic Council do?
We organize over 2,000 events annually at all levels of the council. These range from one-off events aimed at highlighting particular areas of interest to regular annual events such as the Europe Symposium, Conference on Energy Policy and Wirtschaftstag. These events are attended by high ranking politicians, academics as well as members of the business community. They attract significant regional and national media coverage.
The way the economic council works reflects the three tier structure of the association with offices in Berlin, the German federal state capitals (with the exception of Bavaria) and Brussels.