Joachim Nagel and Christine Lagarde in conversation ©Alexander Habermehl

Euro20+ – it’s a wrap

On 24 and 25 November, the Bundesbank invited young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to its fifth Euro20+ event. 

Held in Frankfurt am Main, Euro20+ centred around two town hall meetings with ECB President Christine Lagarde and Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel, moderated by journalist Eva Schulz. Many of the over 200 participants took the opportunity to ask questions about the financial and sovereign debt crisis, the digital euro and the role of central banks in combating climate change, to name just a few examples. Of course, the topic of inflation came up in both town hall meetings. Our fight against inflation isn’t over yet. But we have made progress, noted ECB President Lagarde. Bundesbank President Nagel stressed the importance of cooperation in Europe during the Q&A session. The pace needs to be stepped up considerably in this area. Europe must work more closely together, he urged. Whether the capital markets union, the digital euro or the Stability and Growth Pact are concerned: If we want to maintain our competitive position, we need to make greater progress together on the issues facing us in Europe, Bundesbank President Nagel emphasised.

Personal insights and additional workshops

Both presidents also gave their young audience a glimpse into their personal lives, telling them about situations that had had a personal impact on them. For instance, Ms Lagarde revealed that her son had made losses by speculating on crypto-tokens – despite her warnings. According to the ECB President, he had to admit that she was right in the end. Mr Nagel, originally from Karlsruhe, reported on formative experiences of his professional career at, for instance, the Bundesbank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as well as mentioning his passion for Karlsruhe SC football club. 

During the workshop “How stable is our financial system?”, Bundesbank Vice-President Claudia Buch discussed the challenges facing banks in an environment shaped by climate change, digitalisation and geopolitical risks with participants. In the workshop “Who’s to blame, who’s going to pay?”, Bundesbank Executive Board member Sabine Mauderer and entrepreneur Lubomila Jordanova ran a negotiation game on the climate crisis. Bundesbank Executive Board member Burkhard Balz provided information on the digital euro. Another highlight was the talk by influencer Diana zur Löwen, who explained to participants how and why they should also make private provisions for retirement. Additional workshops focused on AI, Europe, cryptocurrencies, sustainability and other central bank topics.

The final “Thinkathon” gave participants the chance to prepare their own ideas on the topics of sustainability, digitalisation, Europe, and economics and to present them in the plenary session. 

Social media ever-present

Many of the participants also shared their experiences of the event on social media, where the Bundesbank had also shared content throughout the event. The chance to ask figures like Christine Lagarde and Joachim Nagel questions was just too good to pass up, participant Georg Elias commented after the event. Mr Nagel announced his intention to continue this successful format.