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How Much Government Is Good for the Citizen? The Kiel Week Veolia Summit

Press Release, June 13, 2012

Last year, the Veolia Summit, which is held annually together with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy during the Kiel Week, was about resources. This year, it will be about the role of government in providing services to its citizens. It will be held under the title “Partner, Competitor, or Monopolist?” on June 20.

The German “social market economy” is an economic system that has provided large economic welfare gains to all of Germany’s citizens. This system is based on a price system that is in turn based on the principles of contractual freedom, open markets, private property rights, and personal liability. Under this system, the government provides numerous public services. “As of recently, however, the question is being posed as to whether such services could not be provided by private businesses. Private competition and a government that ensures that competition works should go hand in hand. The main question is how much government is good for the citizen?” says Thorsten Grenz, CEO of Veolia Umweltservice. In a similar vein, Dennis Snower, president of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, says “the government should not only provide for a business framework that allows competition between businesses to work well but should also provide incentives that motivate large portions of the population to participate in business.”

The Veolia Summit will be held in the Lecture Hall on the main floor of the Kiel Institute,
at Hindenburgufer 66, 24105 Kiel,
between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on June 20.

Günter Verheugen, former EU commissioner for industry and vice president of the EU Commission, Dennis Snower, president of the Kiel Institute, Johann Eekhoff, former undersecretary and director of the Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik an der Universität zu Köln, and Thorsten Grenz, CEO of Veolia Umweltservice, will participate in the summit. Claudia Kleinert, of German television, will moderate the discussions at the summit.

The Veolia Summit, which is held by the Kiel Institute and Veolia Umweltservice GmbH and which was held for the second time during the current Kiel Week, is a run-up event to the Global Economic Symposium (GES). The topic of Veolia Summit, business and government, will also be dealt with at the GES in Rio de Janeiro on October 16-17.

The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2012 is being jointly organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and in collaboration with the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV). Further information can be found at and at the official GES-blog at

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