Speech/statement | Date: 04/11/2022 | Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries
By Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre (Speech at Gamle Logen in Oslo, 2. Nov 2022)
The peaceful re-unification of Germany in 1990 is a shining example of what can be achieved with a great vision, and the courage to follow through on it.
Dear ambassador Wächter, excellencies, dear friends,
It’s an honor for me to celebrate “Tag der Deutschen Einheit” with you here tonight.
The peaceful re-unification of Germany in 1990 - after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 - is a shining example of what can be achieved with a great vision, and the courage to follow through on it.
It also says a lot about the power of democratic processes.
The lessons from Germany’s “Friedliche Revolution” are especially important in today’s Europe.
The Russian war of agression in Ukraine is causing great human suffering.
It has also led to a change in the global energy landscape, and it is causing uncertainty in markets everywhere. Europe can no longer be dependent on the cooperation of authoritarian regimes.
With this in mind, rest assured that Norway will remain a stable and predictable partner and supplier of energy, contributing to energy security.
There is also a need to rethink some of our policies and come up with solutions that will bolster Europe’s self-sufficiency in terms of energy. Both in the short term and in the long term.
In the coming months and years, it is vital to speed up the development of alternative energy sources. We must develop the necessary infrastructure.
A change is needed – and it has to be towards a greener world.
With this backdrop, I am very pleased with the ongoing industry- and energy dialogue we have started between Norway and Germany this year.
In uncertain times, nothing is better than working closely with your trusted friends!
Prime Minister Støre and the Chancellor Scholz are in full agreement that close cooperation between Norway and Germany, and with the rest of Europe, is the only way to tackle the green transition and the new circumstances after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian attack has only made our cooperation more urgent.
For over 40 years, Norway and Germany have cooperated on energy. Mirroring our close relationship in so many other fields.
We have learned to rely on each other, and a state of deep trust and stability exists between our countries.
The new industrial and energy partnership we are developing will take our existing cooperation into the future. A future where we proceed full speed in reaching our ambitious – and completely necessary – climate targets.
Soon after the Peaceful revolution in october 1989, Germans started talking about “Die Wende”. It says a lot about how quickly everyone realized that they were living through special times – through a turning point in history.
In the last decade, Germany has led the way to a greener future with “Die Energiewende”. This is also a momentous turning point in history.
I am very glad that our two countries are together in this.
We know that big changes take time.
There was no single point at which the re-unification was finished, or when everything was settled. The adjustment and coordination between east and west is ongoing, and requires constant attention.
The green transition is no different.
We are in the middle of an enormous change – when I talk to Norwegian businesses, I often say that the green transistion is the biggest change in Norwegian industry ever.
There will never be a quick fix. There will always be things to adjust, re-adjust and, in some cases I’m sure, move back to start and try again.
It will be complicated and it will be demanding, like real life politics always is. We know where we want to go, but that doesn’t mean that we necessarily know every step of the way to get there.
We need to work even closer to secure that we move in the same direction.
Norway and Germany have complementing strengths in so many areas.
There is a huge potential in many different sectors. Sectors that are important today, but also in sectors that will be crucial for the green transition.
German and Norwegian companies and other stakeholders must therefore continue - and expand - their cooperation.
Dear friends, these are challenging times. But, the history of German reunification shows that momentous change can be done peacefully.
The close cooperation in Europe today gives reason for great optimism.
We’ve been put to the test, and we’re passing it with flying colours.
Dear friends, we stand together. The bonds between Norway and Germany are stronger than ever.
Together we can push towards a peaceful Europe.
And also secure our energy supplies, and strengthen our economies - on the way to net zero.