Below are key quotes from the session Global Responsibilities for a Digital Age, featuring Angela Merkel, at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. You can watch the German Chancellor’s speech in full here. All quotes have been translated from German to English. 

On the threat to our freedoms
“This year has started with a bang that shook us to the core. This terrible attack against Jewish citizens, journalists and police forces in Paris shows us all that we are facing challenges that don’t stop at the borders of Europe.”

“We have stood up for our values; of freedom of the press, of freedom of democracy, freedom of religion and freedom of expression.”


“We also had to learn during 2014 that those matters that we have always taken for granted… need to be fought for, need to be defended. This may be one of the most important messages that we need to discuss with our citizens.”

“Freedom does not mean being free of something, but to be free to do something.”

On the economy
“We need a growth-oriented, sound fiscal policy, we need investments by the state, and first and foremost we need an environment which encourages private investors to take out investments.”

“We need jobs, and these jobs have to be created in those areas which promise long-term, highly qualified employment. Digitisation – and how we react to digitisation in Europe – will be essential.”

“I want our strong German economy to be able to cope with the merger of the real economy and the digital economy, otherwise we will lose out to the competition.”

On Europe
“We want to remain a stable anchor in Europe.”

“We don’t as yet have as positive an environment as we need for investment in the digital area… we would be well advised to be better prepared for this innovation.”

“Let’s be a bit more curious about what happens in other parts of the world, engage in a little less navel-gazing… I must say I am very pleased and a little bit proud to be part of the European Union.”

Image: Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany, speaks during the session ‘Global Responsibilities in a Digital Age’ in the congress centre at the Annual Meeting 2015 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 22, 2015. WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/ Moritz Hager