Friday, May 12, 2006

Century of Excellence

 After some hectic days in Stockholm it was a very early flight from a sunny home to a sunny London.

Under the theme "A Century of Excellence" we are here celebrating the 100 Year Anniversary of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce here.

During the first part of the seminar Margot Wallström from the European Commission, Chris Patten, nowadays Chancellor of Oxford University, and I have just spoken about different aspects of our rapidly changing world.

Margot had her focus on the environmental challenges and the need to make economic growth sustainable in view of them.

Chris spoke about the changing nature of the China that he knows so well not the least after his years as the last Governot of Hong Kong. Can China continue to be a successful growth economy without opening up also its political system? He did not think so, although the trends that he sees at the moment are rather moving in the opposite direction.

I concentrated on how the politics and the economy of Europe is changing as a result of the Eastern enlargement of the European Union.

Without in any way wanting to put all the other achievements of European integration in the shadows, I think it can be safely said that this enlargement was the European integrations finest hour.

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