LONDON, 1st February 2021: After a decade as UK chair of the UK-German association Königswinter,
Sir Michael Arthur will retire from this role later this year. His successor will be the Rt Hon Sir
David Lidington. The handover will take place at the June 2021 Conference in Berlin.
Sir David brings to this post a depth of experience and knowledge that will be invaluable
as Königswinter develops its role further in the post-BREXIT bilateral relationship. Sir David has
experience of many years of engagement with Germany from his roles in government, as Minister for
Europe and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster effectively Deputy Prime Minister to Theresa May.
Königswinter is a bridge between the UK and Germany where frank, constructive discussions can be held
among decision-makers about the key issues of the day. The BREXIT debate has been a central theme over
recent years, but discussions encompass trade, international relations, security, economics and more.
On his appointment, Sir David said: “I am delighted to take on the role of UK chair. For 70 years
Königswinter has been an important bridge builder between Germany and the United Kingdom. Our two
countries face the same challenges: the digital revolution, global competition, the climate emergency,
organised crime and the growing assertiveness of authoritarian powers in the world. We can learn from
each other’s experience and perspectives and through Königswinter discuss both challenges and
opportunities in a spirit of openness and mutual trust.”
Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing International, former UK Ambassador to Germany and outgoing
chair said: “The bond between Germany and the UK is as important as it has ever been in the past 70
years. We face an increasingly polarised society and politics; we look to rebuild our economies and societies
post COVID; we must navigate past BREXIT. When the UK and Germany are aligned and empathetic
then Europe is stronger. After a decade of chairing Königswinter I am pleased to hand over the baton
to David, an ally in building bridges, consensus, and understanding.”
The 2021 conference will be Königswinter’s 71st annual conference. It was founded in 1947 to bring
together leading figures in Britain and Germany from politics, government, academia, business and the
media, to discuss the key policy issues of the day where both countries need to understand each other in
depth. Many leaders in both countries, in government and beyond, participate in Königswinter conferences.
Note to editors:
Königswinter is an independent organisation. It is funded in part by HM government, with majority
funding from the private sector business sponsors. In addition to the main annual conference there are
shorter conferences annually on Defence and Security and on Economic affairs. Conferences alternate
annually between Germany and the UK. There is also an annual Young Königswinter conference every
year in Berlin.
This is a press release by British-German Königswinter.