EU Week: Panel Debate | Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

A student-organised panel discussion with high-profile participants explored the vital role of the European Union in shaping the collective future of Europe. The RSM STAR event at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) in April was hosted to celebrate ‘EU Week’ and was held in parallel with events across a network of other European business schools and universities. STAR is the RSM students’ study association, and the event looked into the heart of European engagement by exploring the theme of ‘Geopolitics and Business in the EU’.

Keynote speaker was Jan Peter Balkenende, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Partner Corporate Responsibility at EY and Professor Emeritus at Erasmus University. The discussion panel comprised Jean-Pierre Kempeneers, Chief Corporate Affairs of Nexperia, the publicly listed chipmaker; RSM Associate Professor Merieke Stevens; and Michel Kerres, Diplomatic Editor at media organisation NRC.

Prof. Balkenende said the EU economy needs to switch the drive for shareholder profits to a drive for sustainable profit that focuses on shared and societal value. To achieve this requires unity and a reconnection between companies, other countries, and customers to achieve a sustainable, inclusive and connecting economy. Europe is often seen as an example to the rest of the world.

The panel debate, moderated by Geert Maarse, brought interesting topics from outside of the mainstream into the discussion, and brought different perspectives from the panellists.

The audience heard that Europe has been shaken out of its complacency, first by the Covid-19 pandemic and then by war in Ukraine that showed the huge dependence on China and the US for supplies and support, and there was a discussion of the importance of European defence spending.

Regie: EelcoRomeijn
Camera: Marcel Strücker
Sound: Jeroen Mes
Photocredit: Roy Borghouts

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