Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz gives keynote speech at the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium

18 August 2022. At this year’s M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz will give the keynote speech at the M100 MEDIA AWARD ceremony. The international media conference will take place on 15 September at the Orangerie Sanssouci in Potsdam.

Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, the resulting consequences for Europe and the role of the media are the focus of this year’s M100 Sanssouci Colloquium in Potsdam. The brutal invasion is the largest armed conflict on the European continent since the end of the Second World War, with enormous consequences for geopolitics, the economy, democracy, society and the environment. How does Europe, how does the Western world want to defend and strengthen democracy, freedom, freedom of the press and freedom of opinion?

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz: “It is basically constitutive for a functioning democracy: the free and independent press. Especially in times of disinformation like we are experiencing, it is indispensable. Because the bitter truth is: disinformation works. And where disinformation is total, where no dissenting information can be perceived, the outrageous becomes sayable and horrific crimes possible. Russia’s cruel war of aggression and annihilation against Ukraine proves this. It is therefore all the more important that we come together in Potsdam within the framework of the M100 Media Award to honour those who, with their work, often also dedicate their lives to strengthening freedom of opinion and freedom of the press, and thus always also to democracy.”

Mike Schubert, Mayor of Potsdam and Chair of the M100 Advisory Board:
“The brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine and its consequences affect each and every one of us – in Europe and throughout the rest of the world. The effects are enormous, socially, economically, politically. We have to think about the kind of Europe we want to live in in the future. How we shape the European community, secure the European house and how we want to deal with Russia in the future. I am looking forward to the high-calibre, international participants of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium on 15 September, who will bring new ideas and perspectives to the discussion. Potsdam is exactly the right place for these kinds of debates, which are about politics, society and the role of the media.”

The OPENING SPEECH of the Colloquium will be given by Olga Rudenko, Editor-in-Chief of The Kyiv Independent. The Kyiv Independent is an award-winning Ukrainian news website founded in November 2021 by the former editorial staff of the Kyiv Post. Olga, former deputy editor-in-chief of The Kyiv Post, has written for international publications, was a fellow at the Chicago Booth School of Business in 2021 and was on the cover of Time magazine in May 2022.

At a SPECIAL TALK, Wolfgang Ischinger, former Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, discusses with Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, President of the Republic of Kosovo since April 2021, the tense political situation in the Balkans, what this means for the EU and Ukraine, what contribution the Western Balkans can make to a stable European Community in the face of a new world order and how Europe should shape its relationship with Russia in the future.

In the evening, the M100 MEDIA AWARD, which is intended as the “Prize of the European Press”, will be presented for the 18th time. Since 2005, the non-endowed prize has been awarded at the conference to personalities who stand up for democracy, freedom of opinion and freedom of the press. Previous recipients include Lord Norman Foster, Bernard Kouchner, Bob Geldof, Ingrid Betancourt, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Kurt Westergaard, Vitali Klitschko, Charlie Hebdo, Roberto Saviano, Natalia Sindeeva, Nicola Sturgeon, and Alexei Navalny.
This year’s decision will be announced soon.

In the week before the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, the M100 YOUNG EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS WORKSHOP on “Journalistic Impartiality in Times of War – Dealing with Fake News and Disinformation” will take place in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. In a six-day workshop, 21 young journalists from 17 European countries will discuss and work with experts on recognising, identifying and combating fake news, on deepfakes and disinformation as a strategic weapon of war. The results will be presented by the participants themselves at the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium.

M100 is an initiative of Potsdam Media International e.V., which is mainly funded by the city of Potsdam. Further sponsors are the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the Federal Foreign Office, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government.
Sponsors: European Liberal Forum, medienlabor, META, Bundesverband der Freien Berufe BFB
Cooperation partners: AFP, eupinions, Euractiv, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Institute for Media and Communication Policy (IfM), Young Journalists Switzerland (JJS), Media Association of the Free Press (MVFP), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation, The European Network, Treffpunkt Europa.