“United States of Europe” Humboldt Symposium 2019

Discussing the Future of United Europeans

May 08th, 2019
Anastasia Petrova, Martta Tenhu, Anna Hlavackova, Hoëlenn Ayoul-Guilmard, News from Berlin
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Turbulent times demand courage, excitement and in-depth knowledge about the world around us. Berlin Global correspondents visited the Humboldt Symposium and were ready to debate democracy, economics and global responsibilities. The Humboldt Symposium was a day-long event focusing on current political and economic issues. Renowned speakers shared their insights in public lectures, panel discussions and workshops. This year, discussions were on the most pressing issues Europe faces today and in the future. Speakers this year include Katarina Barley, Federal Minister of Justice & Consumer Protection; Philipp Legrain, British political economist & writer; Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Professor at Paris School of Economics; Martin Sonneborn, Member of European Parliament and leader of Die PARTEI; Michael Roth, Minister for Europe at German Federal Foreign Office; Stefanie Bolzen, WELT London Correspondent and others.

Opening keynote was presented by Henrik Enderlein, President & Professor of Political Economy at Humboldt University of Berlin. He talked about his own vision of “United States of Europe” and noted that we should be cautious on defining what United States of Europe means. The first long panel discussion was held by Mark Leonard as a debate moderator, Damian Boeselager Vice-President of Volt Europa, Nicola Beer General Secretary of the Free Democratic Party, Sven Giegold Member of the European Parliament, Daniel Caspary Chairman of the German CDU/CSU-delegation in the European Parliament and Katarina Barley, German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection. Various issues were discussed – from the European party differences, electoral law, youth attitudes to social Europe and right wing coalitions.

According to the future concerns, speakers addressed the cultural connection and open discourse between national states. They called for strengthening relationships and enhancing socio-cultural cooperation. The event strongly presented the common European values and cultural ties.

After the lunch break was a panel discussion about populism in Europe held by Jon Henley as a debate moderator, Stefan Kolev Professor of Economics, University of Applied Sciences Zwickau, Philippe Legrain British political economist and writer, Stefanie Bolzen WELT London Correspondent. The speakers offered different views on populism. Dr. Kolev talked about populism in Eastern Europe and anti-western sentiments in Russia. Stefanie Bolzen explained how populists shaped Brexit and her views on the topic.

In the end a talk was offered by Marc Pierini – EU diplomat and Carnegie Europe expert on the topic of “Europe's Response to the Game Changers in South-East Europe and the Mediterranean”. He talked about the main security threats and diplomatic responses. Because pf his experience Mr. Pierini addressed topics related to Middle East and as a result of many questions Mr Pierini also discussed threats from Eastern side.

The19th Humboldt Symposium was a success and the topics discussed are of great important in light of upcoming European Parliament elections. The elections are expected to be held between 23 and 26 May 2019.


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