German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the many notable speakers at the 2019 Global Solutions Summit in Berlin. Following her thought-provoking speech emphasizing the need for multilateralism and international cooperation in the years to come, was a Q&A period with questions from both a moderator and individuals from the audience.
One of the questions posed to the chancellor came from one of the Global Solutions Summit’s Young Global Changemakers: Stephanie E. Trpkov, a Nigerian-born World Bank Consultant from Croatia.
Read more about Stephanie Trpkov here.
She inquired after Germany’s efforts to ensure equitable taxation and corporate accountability in the digital age, especially the larger magnates such as Facebook – a very relevant issue in the face of the European Union’s Digital Single Market Strategy and the numerous legislative acts that were adopted.
Interestingly enough, Chancellor Merkel, who has a famously controversial stance on immigration, expressed curiosity about Stephanie’s citizenship prior to answering her question – and in that moment the question became something more.
Stephanie hails from Croatia, one of the federal republics of the former Yugoslavia. As a nation-state, nearly 90% of its people are ethnic Croats, making it the most ethnically homogenous of the Balkan States. Immigrants such as Stephanie – who is originally from Nigeria – make up just a tiny fraction of the 10% non-Croat population.
Regardless of this, the chancellor’s commitment to fostering a climate of international cooperation permeated each and every one of her responses, reinforcing her claim that Europe, the G20, and taking advantage of the unique diversity of their citizens.