Events

Schebek Palace
Prague

The Institute for Politics and Society, The Friedrich Naumann Foundation and The European Liberal Forum cordially invite you to international conference Multiple Challenges for Europe. The event is held under the auspices of Adriana Krnáčová, Lady Mayor of Prague and with the financial support of the European Parliament.

Since 2009, Europe has been facing multiple crises. Some would even claim that there should be a database of crises and challenges. There is a crisis involving the Eurozone, which has not disappeared but has been just overshadowed by, more urgent matters. There is the topic of Greece staying or not staying in the Eurozone. There is a sovereign debt crisis in the southern belt. We have Russian aggression in Ukraine and challenges related to stabilizing Ukraine. Then there is the threat of Brexit and there is a crisis in the European energy market and energy dependency on Russia. Nowadays, everyone is concerned with the migration crisis, security crisis, and Schengen crisis. There are challenges with how to deal with Turkey, Syria, and ISIL. Furthermore, we also have a European political crisis, a rise of political extremism, the East­ West division, and a crisis of European leadership, values, sharing, and solidarity. The Multiple Challenges for Europe conference will aim to address these issues, and potential avenues for resolution in the European context.

CONFERENCE OUTPUTS

Conference Booklet

Zdeněk Kudrna – Eurozone, Greece and catastrophic debt crises

Helena Horská – Greece: Is There Any Harmless Solution?

Tereza Engelová – Migration

PROGRAM

8:30 – 9:00          Registration

9:00 – 9:05         Welcome Speech

Jan Macháček, Chairman of the Institute for Politics and Society (Czech Republic)

Detmar Doering, Project Director (designated) Central Europe and Baltic States, Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Germany)

9:05 – 10:30       Panel A: European Vision, Values, Leadership, and Federalism 

Bartłomiej E. Nowak, Head of Chair of International Relations, Vistula University (Poland)

Kai-Olaf Lang, Head of the European Division at the German Institute Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Germany)

Leszek Jazdzewski, Editor-in-Chief of the Polish socio-political magazine, Liberté! (Poland)

John Lloyd, Contributing editor to the Financial Times (United Kingdom)

Iliya Lingorski, President of the Bulgarian Section of the European League of Economic Cooperation (Bulgaria)

Moderator: Jan Macháček,  Chairman of the Institute for Politics and Society (Czech Republic)

10:30 – 11:15          Talk for Europe

Václav Bělohradský, Publicist, candidate for Senator for the Social Democrats and the Green Party (Czech Republic)

Jaques Rupnik, Professor at Sciences Po in Paris and honorary visiting professor at Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic)

Moderator: Jan Macháček,  Chairman of the Institute for Politics and Society (Czech Republic)

11:15 – 11:30          Coffee Break    

11:30 – 13:00         Panel B: Migration, Security, Future of Schengen 

Grigorij Mesežnikov, Political analyst, founder & President of the Slovak Institute for Public Affairs (Slovakia)

H.E. Aldo Amati, Ambassador of Italy to the Czech Republic (Italy)

Jacques Rupnik, Professor at Sciences Po in Paris and honorary visiting professor at Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic)

Tereza Engelová, Czech journalist and documentary film maker

Moderator: Jan Macháček,  Chairman of the Institute for Politics and Society (Czech Republic)

13:00 – 13:45         Lunch

13:45 – 15:00        Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable: Talk for Europe

                                   Organised by the European Liberal Forum 

The Talk for Europe will be introduced by Felicita Medved, President of the European Liberal Forum.

Andrej Babiš, Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic (Czech Republic)

Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (Belgium)

Moderator: Pavel Telička, Member of European Parliament (Czech Republic)

This is a roundtable discussion organised by the European Liberal Forum (ELF) with the assistance of the Institute for Politics and Society, and co-funded by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not responsible for the content of the programme, or for any use that may be made of it. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the European Parliament and/or the European Liberal Forum.

15:00 – 16:30        Panel C: Eurozone, Greece, and Sovereign Debt Crisis 

H.E. Efthymios Efthymiades, Ambassador of Greece to the Czech Republic (Greece)

Helena Horská, Chief economist of Raiffeisenbank in Prague (Czech Republic)

Iliya Lingorski, President of the Bulgarian Section of the European League of Economic Cooperation (Bulgaria)

Zdeněk Kudrna, Researcher at the Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies at the University of Salzburg (Czech Republic)

Krisztián Szabados, Chief Executive Officer of Political Capital Institute (Hungary)

Moderator: Aleš Chmelař, Chief Economist at the European Section of the Czech Office of the Government (Czech Republic)

16:30 – 16:45        Coffee Break     

16:45 – 17:30        Talk for Europe

Martin Stropnický, Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic (Czech Republic)

Jan Macháček,  Chairman of the Institute for Politics and Society (Czech Republic)

Moderator: Anna Matušková, Political Scientist at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University (Czech Republic)

17:30 – 19:00         Panel D: Ukraine and Assertive Russia 

Bartłomiej E. Nowak, Head of Chair of International Relations, Vistula University (Poland)

Kai-Olaf Lang, Head of the European Division at the German Institute Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Germany)

Leszek Jazdzewski, Editor-in-Chief of the Polish socio-political magazine, Liberté! (Poland)

John Lloyd, Contributing editor to the Financial Times (United Kingdom)

Grigorij Meseznikov, Founder & President of the Slovak Institute for Public Affairs (Slovakia)

Moderator: Petr Kolář, Former Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the USA and Russia (Czech Republic)

19:00 – 20:00       Networking

Registration

   

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Panel A: European vision, values, leadership, solidarity, and federalism

The European identity has rarely been anything more than a vision, try as politicians might. Lacking a coherent vision, undermined by national self-interest, and plagued by “part time Europeans”, the next logical step, federalism, is for now impossible. European nations want to enjoy the common market and European family, whilst preserving their own national identities. It is clear that one of the most important EU member states is conflicted with the idea of even being in the Union. Have we reached the limit of European integration?

Questions:

Is there such a thing as a European vision?

How can Europe proceed when its members have such divergent concepts of what the future should entail? Has the European Union ever not been in a state of crisis? How should European governments approach Europe when the future is so unclear?

 

Panel B: Migration, security, future of Schengen

The ongoing migrant crisis has come to define the European continents experience of the Iraqi & Syrian civil wars and the insurgency of the so called “Islamic State”. Pressure on public services such as social housing, healthcare and education might in the past have dominated concerns surrounding the arrival of, the most extreme case (that of Germany) over a million new inhabitants. Since the IS directed terrorist attacks in Paris, November 2015 and the widespread, seemingly coordinated sexual assaults across Germany however, concerns have, rightly or wrongly, tended increasingly towards potential security issues related to the crisis. The balance between humanitarianism and security is one that many western European countries are currently grappling.

Questions:

Do any countries bear a responsibility to accommodate refugees? what distinguishes a refugee from an economic migrant? Do countries militarily involved in the Middle East such as the United Kingdom and France bear a greater responsibility than those involved in the Iraqi/Syrian civil war? For how long, if at all, can Schengen survive under the current circumstances? Do migrants pose a threat to security?

 

Panel C: Eurozone, Greece, and Sovereign debt crises

With very few exceptions, every developed economy in the world was affected to some extent by the economic crash of 2007/8 many faced economic ruin, and some are still suffering the consequences today. This is no more the case than in the Eurozone; Portugal, Spain, the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, and most infamously Greece were unable to repay their government debts and consequently public services such as healthcare and education, as well as employment in these countries were crippled.

Questions:

To what extent are these countries still suffering the effects of debt? Is there still a threat of the breakup of the Eurozone? Should EU members be obligated to bail out indebted countries in the future? even those not in the Eurozone such as the United Kingdom? What might a potential solution to the European debt crisis entail? How has the crisis changed the EU since it started?

 

Panel D: Ukraine and assertive Russia

Europe has always faced crises. Never however, has the issue of European cooperation and identity inflamed such bloody and violent unrest as has been the case since 2014 in Ukraine. Europe finds itself in a standoff with one of the greater nuclear powers of the world, over a country in which much of the population has no interest or desire to be integrated into Europe. The crisis threatens to tear Ukraine in half, and Europe, as the Union finds itself within touching distance of an increasingly assertive Russia.

Questions:

To what extent is the Russian administration correct in suggesting the EU’s expansion towards the east is “aggressive”? Is Ukrainian integration into the EU worth the risk of potential bloodshed? How can amicable relations between Europe and Russia be maintained? Is Ukraine Europe’s problem? Was the Dutch referendum the final nail in the Ukrainian-European coffin?

The European Liberal Forum and the European Parliament are not liable for the event.

PARTNERS

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ELF

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GENERAL MEDIA PARTNER

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