Debate on Europe

© AMO.Rem Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf

Europe appears to be an unfinished project that is not yet invulnerable to the destabilizing effects of economic, political and social crises, nor to the current moves toward re-nationalization happening in multiple EU countries.

The Allianz Kulturstiftung and its partners conceived of the Debate on Europe as a transnational forum that brings European issues to large audiences and contributes to building what Jürgen Habermas has called a “European public sphere”. Leading figures from the fields of culture, politics, economics and the humanities come together not only to think aloud, but to think outside the box. Publicly addressing issues related to the European unification process in this way should ideally strengthen Europe's cultural self-conception and help increase identification with the European project.

The project emphasizes the benefits a unified and united Europe has brought up to this point, and continues to bring on a daily basis. However, it also creates a critical awareness for vulnerabilities in the face of adversity. How can Europe meet the challenges of the 21stcentury while both doing justice to its own historical experiences and delivering the just and secure future that today's young people understandably expect?

Last Exit Europe
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The second edition of "Cracking Borders, Rising Walls: Populism or Solidarity?" had growing populist sentiment on its agenda—as well as European solidarity that transcends borders. These public debated featuring European journalists, scholars and artists as a.o. Paul Berman, Karolina Wigura, Jörg Bremer, Stephen Bush and Dagmar Engel.

In cooperation with Kultura Liberalna and SDPZ

Under the title "Europe with a View to the Future" activists and historians, philosophers and authors as a.o. Anna Maria Dyner, Pawel Kowal, Nikita Pietrow, Roman Kabaczij and Anastazja Sergiejewa debated on Europe’s split collective memory 100 years after the Russian Revolution, and the return of imperial politics in the present time.

25 years ago a war broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina which has left deep scars until this day and marked the collapse of former Yugoslavia. In the scope of "Sarajevo Debate on Europe" a series of discussions in remembered these events.Historians, cultural critics, political scientists and writers took the lead on the topic “Europe Facing an Identity Trap”? Dan Diner, Dubravka Stojanovic, Tarik Haveric, Eli Tauber, Sergej Lebedew, Sebastian Sons and Marie-Janine Callic were invited as guests.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung, Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung and Goethe-Institut Bosnien und Herzegowina.

Although the EU is defined as a solidarity community and solidarity is a fundamental European value of the treaty on the European Union, national alliances and egoisms are once again dominating. Under the title "LAST EXIT EUROPE: What does European solidarity mean?", Politicians and trade unionists discussed what we can do to ensure that Europe becomes more solidarity.

In cooperation with Münchner Kammerspiele and Abendzeitung

At the St. Petersburg debate, “Russia and Europe? – Russia in Europe?”, a panel of historians, journalists and writers from both East and West discusses fickle Russia-Europe relations and the extent to which Russia (still) sees itself as part of Europe.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung and Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung

In response to brutal acts committed by jihadis across the world and growing anti-Islam sentiments in Europe, the 2016 Munich debate addresses the topic “LAST EXIT EUROPE: Which Islam is our Islam?”. Distinguished scholars, journalists and religious figures talk about possible strategies for preventing a rift in society and the radicalization of youth.

In cooperation with Münchner Kammerspiele, Abendzeitung and Parlavent

Terror attacks in the heart of Europe and war in Ukraine are presenting the European Union with unforeseen challenges. For the “Neighbourhood in Europe – Prospects of a Common Future” debate, renowned European writers, journalists and scholars meet in the border city of Kharkiv to consider whether Europe will survive as we know it, and what sacrifices that could entail.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung and Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung

At the “Diverse identity experiences – one nation?” debate, prominent scholars, journalists, artists and writers exchange views on matters of national identity and national community in contemporary Belarus. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these questions took on increasing significance and, in light of tense EU-Russia relations at this time, they seem no less relevant today.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung and Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung

The prevailing disaccord in Europe is plainly demonstrated by the different and one-sided approaches European states are taking in dealing with refugees. At the “Last Exit Germany: What Immigration Politics Does Europe Need?” debate, internationally known political and cultural figures discuss European refugee politics at the Münchner Kammerspiele.

In cooperation with Münchner Kammerspiele, Abendzeitung and Parlavent

While bilingualism is considered a cultural asset in many places, a critical perception of the Russian minority clinging to its language persists in Estonia. At the Narva College at Tartu University in Narva, the center of Estonia's Russian minority, figures from the fields of culture, journalism and the humanities discuss the multifaceted relationships between language, culture and identity at the “Building Neighborhood” debate.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung and Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung

The Helsinki Final Act of 1975 was a milestone that set the tone for political cooperation between and beyond European states. However, that established order, founded on commitments to human rights and mutual respect, is being called increasingly into question by the crisis in Ukraine, the advance of populist parties and growing EU skepticism within EU member states.

Against that backdrop, respected journalists, politicians and scholars come together at the “Cracking Borders, Growing Walls, Europeans facing the Ukrainian Crisis” debate in Warsaw to talk about current problems and pressing questions related to the Ukrainian crisis and the European integration process on the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act.

In cooperation with Kultura Liberalna and SDPZ

Artistic liberty is coming under growing threat in many places at the hands of right-wing populist parties and governments, extremist groups and the fallout from the financial crisis. At the debate “The New Intolerance – Where Artistic Liberty Dies, Democracy Is at Risk”, a panel of artists, curators, writers and theater directors exposes the many faces of external influence, intimidation and coercion in contemporary cultural life and the art business.

In cooperation with Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (nbk)

The 2014 “Debates on Europe” in Belgrade, Athens and Bucharest all took place under the overarching banner “How much Europe do we want?”. The key positions to crystallize at those debates were presented and coalesced at the “Europe?” event in Berlin.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung and Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung

22 years ago, the Maastricht Treaty was signed, marking the foundation of the European Union. But that was also the same year a bloody war broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina that would factor heavily in the demise Yugoslavia. Outside the Balkans, people were looking toward the future with a sense of optimism in the Europe of the 1990s. Now, as the financial crisis wears on and efforts at re-nationalization mount, people are feeling a renewed sense of insecurity. It seems like the Europe of 2014 is difficult to pin down all of a sudden. What exactly does Europe mean?
Against that backdrop, internationally known personalities discuss Europe's (self-)perception in the Balkans at the “What are we talking about when we talk about Europe?” debate.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung and Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung

With Greece in a state of financial emergency, cultural work might seem like pure luxury. But what consequences does the current threat to cultural infrastructure have for democracy, and what duties can and should culture assume in the crisis? Writers, journalists and publishers from Greece, Germany and Sweden consider these questions at the “Culture and Crisis” debate in Athens.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung and Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung

At the “Europe at the Turning Point – How can the current rift be overcome?” debate, politicians and scholars spoke about the possible reaction on the part of the European Union to the “poly-crisis” (Edgar Morin). To what extent might the present crisis also constitute a chance for the EU to set aside its internal rivalries and act cohesively within a rapidly changing world order?

In cooperation with the International Crises Group

One hundred years ago, the balance of power collapsed in Europe and, within the span of a few weeks, the continent toppled into a world war that no one had seen coming. Could something like that happen again today? In view of current tensions in Eastern Europe, writers and scholars from ten European countries discuss key challenges facing the European project at the “1914-2014. What if Europe fails?” debate.

In cooperation with S.Fischer Stiftung and Deutschen Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung

A list of debates from 2006 to 2013 can be found here!