gmf brussels


Deloitte at the Brussels Forum 2016

German Marshall Fund of the US (GMF)

Deloitte's voice at this year's Brussels Forum, an annual event focused on pressing global issues, centered on three key public policy areas: The future of the workforce; inclusive growth and innovation; and a trusted financial system.

Deloitte 2016 Delegation:

This year's Deloitte delegation included CxOs from various countries as well as Risk, Regulatory and Public Policy, and EMEA Public Sector leadership participating in plenary and panel discussions. Excerpts of the sessions are below and additional information is available on the Brussels Forum site

Jobs and Growth Across the Atlantic

The key focus of this session debated whether the lack of economic growth, good jobs, and increasing wages is simply an unusually deep dent following the great financial crisis of 2008, or a more intractable structural problem. Although the recovery from the crisis has been steady, it has left deep scars on both sides of the Atlantic. In the United States unemployment numbers are down, but the quality of new jobs and lagging wages has tainted the overall picture. In Europe, the unsolved economic crisis has exhausted many countries and brought the Eurozone area to the brink of collapse. Such initiatives as the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe were addressed and if broader, more systemic changes are needed as well as how social systems can endure in the face of such economic uncertainty.

View the full webcast of the Jobs and Growth Across the Atlantic panel.


  • Frank Friedman, COO, Deloitte Global and COO & CFO, Deloitte US
  • Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President and Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, European Commission
  • Louka Katseli, Governor, National Bank of Greece
  • Neera Tanden, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund
  • Moderator: Richard Lui, Anchor, MSNBC/NBC

Disrupting the Workplace: Investing and Retaining Talent

In today’s face-paced society, talent is evolving and looks dramatically different than that of previous generations. This new workforce increasingly comprises workers with no formal ties to businesses, working remotely and virtually across organizational and geographic boundaries. But many sectors are currently falling short when it comes to investing, engaging, and deploying this talent. In this session, the question of how corporations, governments, and NGO’s can attract and invest in this new workforce was addressed. Solutions touched on included flexibility in the workplace, a more balanced work-life experience, and the role of education and technology. Results from the 2016 Millennial Survey were also referenced. Find more information on the Young Professionals Summit session.


  • Said Abdu, Swedish Center-Right Liberal Party politician and a Member of Parliament (TILN) 
  • Roger Dassen, Global Vice Chairman of Risk, Regulatory and Public Policy, Deloitte
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO, New America Foundation 
  • Moderator: Madeleine Goerg, Program Officer, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Building a Sustainable Financial System

The European Capital Markets Union initiative and the lessons learned from the financial integration efforts in the United States were the main discussion points of this session. Also offered were views on how the United States and Europe can best work together to address future challenges and increase capital market integration. As witnessed during the global financial crisis, the stability and resilience of the financial sector correlates directly with economic growth. While the United States has already made great strides in strengthening its capital markets to avoid another meltdown, the European Union is just now finalizing efforts to launch the Capital Markets Union to make its financial system more resilient.


  • David Barnes, Global Public Policy Leader, Deloitte
  • Hari Hariharan, Chairman and CEO of NWI Investments 
  • Douglas Rediker, Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics 
  • Moderator: Daniela Schwarzer, Director, Europe Program, German Marshall Fund

Digital Innovation

One automatically thinks of innovation stemming from start-ups or elite universities, but the public sector can be a source for digital prowess when harnessing data, promoting e-education, and providing the right backdrop for entrepreneurship. Estonia is one such government, immersing itself in all things cyber. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, joined by business leaders, provided insights on government and technology as part of a discussion of the Internet of Things and how the public and private sectors are using technology to enrich the lives of citizens, improve administrative efficiencies, and increase transparency and productivity.


  • Karen Donfried, President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia 
  • Martin Plendl, CEO, Deloitte Germany
  • Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management, Daimler AG

The GMF Brussels Forum is a yearly high-level event designed to create an environment and opportunity for real discussion with leading experts from North America and Europe on pressing global issues. Participants include heads of state, senior officials from the European Union institutions and the member states, U.S. cabinet officials, congressional representatives, parliamentarians, academics, and media. This year’s Brussels Forum took place on 18-20 March 2016.

This year’s theme, “A World beyond Disorder.” Competing narratives and value systems about how to manage the world order are presenting challenges to the international system and testing its resiliency. From security challenges in Europe’s East and the Middle East and the emergence of new powers, to economic challenges related to inequality and unemployment, changing demographics, and the increasing role of technology, the international order is facing considerable upheaval. How have these changes altered our understanding of the world and the challenges we face? How resilient are our societies to shocks and increasing competition and what opportunities do they present? How can we bring a new order to the chaos, while strengthening the international system? Details on the Brussels Forum Agenda can be found here.

View highlights of participants attending this year’s meeting

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