The 2013 German-Spanish Forum concluded on April 17, 2013, with a reception and lunch in honor of Felipe of Spain, then Prince of Asturias. In attendance were the forum’s participants and high-level representatives of major Spanish and German businesses and institutions, including Spain’s Minister for European Affairs Íñigo Méndez de Vigo.
Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García Margallo opened the seventh German-Spanish Forum, held in Madrid, the day before. The over 60 participants – political, business and social leaders from both countries – were also welcomed by Liz Mohn, vice-chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board and president of the Fundación Bertelsmann Board of Trustees.
During the forum, which took place in the Casino de Madrid in the Spanish capital, the participants convened in three sessions to discuss a number of topics, above all vocational training, young people as a future resource, the views people in both countries have of each other, and the preconditions and factors necessary for ensuring the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises. “I consider it very important that two of the most significant national economies and societies in Europe remain in dialogue, and not merely in light of the financial crisis,” Mohn said. “We should also use the forum’s two days to do more than just discuss causes. We should also consider the future of both countries and their citizens.”
Speakers representing Germany at the forum included State Secretary Georg Schütte of the Federal Education Ministry, President of the Federation of German Industries Ulrich Grillo and Friedrich von Metzler, member of Metzler seel. Sohn & Company Holding AG. Jörg Dräger, member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board, presented in Madrid for the first time the results of a current Bertelsmann Stiftung study that examines the extent to which Germany’s twin-track work-study vocational training system can be adapted for use in other countries. The German-Spanish Forum was organized by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Banco Santander and the ICO Foundation.