Volker Löwe has been following Berlin state politics for more than 20 years. For some time now, he has been representing its interests at the European level. He is head of the Berlin state office at the EU in Brussels. Among his tasks is the Europeanization of the administration. Here, he says, it is important to “hear early when the European grass grows” to have a say in decision-making processes at an early stage.
Focus on research
The political scientist strives to bring Berlin’s expertise and experience to bear in Brussels. His work also focuses on European regional policy and structural funds such as ERDF and ESF plus, which play an important role in the city. Especially for strengthening social cohesion and for science and research. “Berlin has a very dense network of research institutions, such as the colleges and universities,” says the 57-year-old. He is particularly concerned about urban policy, which the EU has long neglected. The topic of energy and climate protection are major challenges in the coming years, especially with regard to the renovation of the public building stock.
He and his team are eagerly awaiting the results of the repeated Berlin parliamentary elections. Volker Löwe estimates that it will take a while before the coalition agreement is finalized if there are any changes in the composition. He does not want to commit himself to whether he finds Berlin or Brussels more beautiful. It is no wonder, he says, that both cities have a well-cultivated partnership.
He wrote his doctoral thesis in the early 1990s on the involvement of the German armed forces in out-of-area missions, the so-called blue helmet operations. After that, the political scientist started working at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Followed by two years as a freelancer in the Chancellor’s Office and a move to the Berlin Representation in Bonn. His motto for challenges is “to take the bull by the horns.” You have to call a spade a spade and look for possible solutions. At the European level, above all, in harmony with other players.
For Löwe, the EU’s trump card is its balance of freedom and solidarity. This is what makes the European model so attractive, and it must be preserved both internally and externally. “We need to strengthen our strategic autonomy to be less susceptible to blackmail.” Volker Löwe would like to see an outwardly directed self-confident European policy and for the EU not to lose credibility from within. He says the EU will have to find a clear language toward member states that abandon the rule of law. Kim Fischer