Getting Smaller: The European dream in times of crisis

Flagey - studio 4 / Goethe Institute
29/11/12 - 30/11/12

The time has come to have a look at the status quo. Has the European dream become an utopia? Is Europe getting smaller? What are the implications, consequences, risks and opportunities? Which steps could be taken in order to strengthen it again? And how is Europe perceived in other continents today? These questions will be the leading thread during this two day final conference of the EUNIC project Getting smaller. This conference comprises the main debate with Jeremy Rifkin and Rajeev Bhargava and four workshops.

>>> Read HERE everything about this main debate and reserve your seat!
>>> Don't miss our workshops HERE and enroll immediately!

Main debate

Jeremy Rifkin, author of The European Dream, and Indian professor and political scientist Rajeev Bhargava provide a perspective on the current state of Europe both from the United States and from Asia. Journalist and independent expert Mia Doornaert chairs the debate.

>>> Thursday 29 November 2012, at 20:00
>>> Flagey, Studio 4 (Place Sainte-Croix, 1050 Brussels), see map
>>> Entrace FREE (reservation mandatory via this link)


There will be four workshops. Please find an overview below. In the brochure at the bottom of this page you will find all details.
1) Concept of Power, 29 November, 14:30 > 15:45
2) Demography and mobility29 November, 16:15 > 17:30
3) Economy and Ecology, 30 November, 09:30 > 10:45
4) Dimension of culture, 30 November, 11:15 > 12:30

>>> All workshops will take place at the Goethe Institute (Rue Belliard 58, 1040 Brussels) see map
>>> Entrance is FREE, reservation mandatory via gettingsmaller@bruessel.goethe.org
1) Concepts of Power, 29 November, 14:30 > 15:45
Europe is expected to contribute to peacekeeping, be it in the Balkans, in North and sub-Saharan Africa or in Afghanistan. But, a Common Foreign and Security Policy remains a chimera, as the examples of Libya and Syria alarmingly show. Which security scenarios do we have for the future, including for instance questions of border security of the EU, and future enlargement or alternatives thereto? Which new threats do we need to address, and can we offer any smart solutions? To what extent does European integration need to be deepened and strengthened (including the further pooling of national sovereignty) if we want Europe to play an adequate role in global politics while protecting its values and liberal democracy? What role will NATO as a Western alliance play within the new constellation of crisis and power in Central Asia and the Pacific Area? And what is the role of Europe within the NATO?

>>> Rajeev Bhargava, Senior Fellow and Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi
>>> Weidong Cheng, Professor, Deputy Director, Institute of European Studies, CASS
>>> Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges of NATO
>>> Sieglinde Gstöhl (moderator), Director of Studies of the Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies, College of Europe, Bruges
2) Demography and mobility29 November, 16:15 > 17:30
Whether it is considered in relative or absolute terms, one of the most important determining factors for Europe’s position in the world has been demography. Europe’s population is not growing any more. In the best case scenario, it is stagnating and declining vis à vis the rest of the world. An ageing society with a foreseeable decline in its working population means a serious change in a global economy that is programmed for growth. Given Europe’s share in the world’s population, its share of world trade and, according to many people’s assumptions, of wealth and political influence, will shrink. How much of a real threat does demographic development pose to our economic, cultural and social development and to an appropriate role for Europe in the world? Are migration and a goal-targeted immigration policy really the key to solving problems, which have resulted from demographic changes?

>>> Vanessa Rossi, Advisor in Global Economics
>>> Ludger Pries, Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
>>> Judith Brandner (moderator), Journalist Ö1/Editor Austrian Broadcasting Corporation Vienna
3) Economy and Ecology, 30 November, 09:30 > 10:45
The European Union is going through its deepest economic crisis in its history, and economic recovery seems still far away. Since all forecasts for the industrialized world
predict at least a decade of extremely modest growth rates, it might be overdue that a shrinking Europe in economic terms fosters the public debate about a more comprehensive and less BIP-related understanding of its citizen’s well-being, putting a much stronger emphasis on issues like resource efficiency and sustainable development in the EU. Another possibility is that the Europeans successfully strive for developing a new economic project which puts the EU again on the forefront of BIP growth – at least in the industrialised world.

>>> Ummu Salma Bava, Director, Europe Area Studies Programme & Professor
of European Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi
>>> Anne Bucher, Director for Structural Reforms and Competitiveness, DG Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission
>>> Sebastien Godinot, Economist, WWF European Policy Office
>>> Thomas Fischer (moderator), Executive Director, Brussels office, Bertelsmann Stiftung
4) Dimensions of culture, 30 November, 11:15 > 12:30
Europe is known for its diversity in cultures and languages, but in Europe and throughout the world, competence in English is spreading at a pace never before achieved. Should we welcome this development? Could one vernacular language make Europe stronger as an entity, but also less influential when it comes to spreading the values of multilingualism and respect for diversity? Is Europe and its institutions capable to safeguard and promote cultural and linguistic diversity? Is Europe getting smaller because its citizens have trouble identifying themselves with one big, bureaucratic entity? How can Europe advance and improve its communication? What role should policymakers, civil society, social networks, journalists and citizens play? Does social media connect European citizens or deepen the generational gap? Are we one community online or just further cutting the bridges to the real world outside?

>>> Magda Carneci, Poet, Essayist and Art Historian
>>> Laymert Garcia Dos Santos, Professor, Department of Sociology, Institute of Philosophy and Social Sciences, State University of Campinas, São Paulo
>>> Margot Dijkgraaf (moderator), Director of Academic and Cultural Center SPUI25, Amsterdam



EUNIC in Brussels (Goethe Institute in Brussels, Austrian Cultural Forum in Brussels, Romanian Cultural Institute in Brussels, Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren, Polish Institute - Cultural Service Embassy of Poland in Brussels) in partnership with the Bertelsmann Stiftung


Goethe Institute


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