More than 100 partners and members attended the New Year reception hosted by the EMA. In the vibrant city of Hamburg, high-ranking officials from business and politics, science and culture as well as representatives of Arab diplomatic missions were at the Hotel Grand Elysée.
The event was opened by EMA President Christian Wulff, who spoke of the past year and pointed to global challenges today. He stated that, in the face of growing violence, climate change, falling confidence in the financial markets, the refugee crisis and rapid population growth along with water and food storages, it is increasingly important to talk and exchange ideas to find solutions together. Since its foundation, the EMA has been highlighting and drawing attention to such contemporary issues. This collaborative approach serves as a creed and best practice examples should be brought into focus. “We need a positive vision for the Middle East,” Wulff called with reference to the CSCE process in Europe before 1990.
"An organization that is needed"
Wulff then addressed the entrepreneurs in the mentoring project Ouissal, thanking them for their exemplary commitment, and added that it would also create more jobs in the region. Projects such as Ouissal’s make a vital contribution to Germany’s role in diplomatic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean relations today. The EMA’s remains dedicated to its task as its role becomes increasingly relevant and important.
"Libya as a symbol of cooperation"
The German Ambassador in Libya, Christian Much, spoke afterward of the reception’s focus country, Libya. In a rich and informative presentation, “Libya – State Failure or New Chance”, he gave profound insight into the fate of the North African country. He explained both historical contexts as well as current political developments. Though the rich country stands against enormous challenges today, Much expressed hope following the peace agreement of December 2015 and the quick formation of Libya’s new government. With the required foreign support, the dialogue could be continued between negotiating parties and Libya can serve as a "symbol of cooperation" to other countries. "It might work," concluded Much.
The event ended with a champagne reception, providing opportunity for B2B meetings, and a menu in the stylish ambience of the Hall of Mirrors at the Hotel Grand Elysée, where guests talked intensively about current and planned projects in the region.