“Peace and freedom are not a heritage we own; we have to work for it in every generation”. German Finance Minister speaks at LSE

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Eric Neumayer and Christian Lindner (left to right)

Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, addressed a packed audience at LSE on Monday as part of a wide-ranging conversation moderated by Eric Neumayer, LSE’s Interim President and Vice Chancellor, and hosted by the European Institute.

Lindner opened the event by outlining three pivotal priorities for Germany and Europe at large: a continuation of support for Ukraine, essential structural economic reforms, and limitations on subsidisation.

In a call for international solidarity regarding Ukraine, Lindner underscored the importance of upholding a rule-based global order. “Peace and freedom are not a heritage we own; we have to work for it in every generation,” Lindner said. Asserting that Ukraine’s struggle aligns with the core values of liberal democracies, Lindner emphasised Europe’s mutual interest in defending these principles.

“It’s not only because of humanitarian ideals and solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” Lindner said. “It’s in our best interest to support them because they are fighting for our values and our future.”

Shifting gears to economic challenges, Lindner described the joint struggles facing Germany, the United Kingdom, and Europe at large. In order to reignite economic growth, Lindner argued for a variety of supply-side structural economic reforms. Specifically, he called for increasing qualified immigration into the labour market, removing bureaucratic barriers to public/private sector projects, investing in public infrastructure, mobilising private capital, and providing tax relief to German corporations. Cautioning against the use of subsidies, Lindner called for universal conditions and frameworks which apply to all sectors and technologies and incentivise fair competition.

“If we make efforts to overcome these structural deficits, I’m sure there will be, very soon, a turnaround for the strong German economy,” Lindner said. “The only challenge is to convince all players in the political landscape of Germany that we have to make these structural reforms and we mustn’t wait any longer.”

The latter part of Lindner’s appearance was marked by a Q&A session, where the Finance Minister fielded questions on free trade and German economic growth. In an expression of support for trade agreements which facilitate access to foreign markets, Lindner stressed the importance of dismantling barriers. Supply chains and migration also featured prominently, reflecting concerns over economic resilience and labour market dynamics.

A full recording of the event is available on LSE’s YouTube channel: