The year 2017 has already proven to be a crucial year for Europe, with the negotiations on Brexit starting off, Macron’s victory over Le Pen’s euroscepticism in France, and Wilders’ absence from positions of power in the Netherlands. Can we all breathe a sigh of relief, now that the populist spring has not come to blossom? Will the results of the last months offer Europe possibilities to reinvent itself? And what if Macron does not succeed in reforming Europe and increasing popular support? We invited historian Philipp Blom and professor International Relations Kalypso Nicolaïdis to discuss their current views on the future of Europe in two sessions: at ‘home base’ De Balie (27 June 2017, start 20:00 hrs), and a satellite programme at the Dominicaner Church in Maastricht (28 June 2017, start 20:00 hrs). With a special theatrical tribute to Isaiah Berlin by Walter Bart, actor from Dutch theatre company Wunderbaum.
According to Blom, ‘some elections’ are not enough to solve Europe’s structural problems. The question is: will Europe perish in spite of its successes? Now is the moment to formulate a new narrative that serves to engage Europeans with the European project. Which measures does Blom propose the EU takes? Nicolaïdis argues that Europe must try to let go of its ‘chronic short-term perspective’ and focus on strengthening its democratic foundations in the long term. Only empathy between the member states can save Europe. Both thinkers will present their to do list for Europe, and will reflect on the crucial importance of today’s situation for the history of Europe.
During the programme, we paid tribute to Isaiah Berlin, one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century, who thoroughly examined the question of European integration in 1959. Today, his reflections are still crucial to understanding Europe’s current situation. Walter Bart from theatre company Wunderbaum performed.
About Philipp Blom
Philipp Blom (1970) is a German historian, novelist, journalist and translator. After obtaining his PhD in Modern History at Oxford University, he has worked as a journalist, editor and writer, contributing to newspapers, magazines and radio programmes throughout Europe and the US. Blom’s historical books on European history, such as The Vertigo Years (2008) and A Wicked Company (2010), have been awarded with several international prizes. He contributed the essay Thinking Europe – No Future? to the anthology Re:Thinking Europe which has been published in the context of the Forum on European Culture.
About Kalypso Nicolaïdis
Kalypso Nicolaïdis (1962) is a Greek-French Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford where she is also director of the Centre for International Studies. Nicolaïdis has published widely on various aspects of European integration, international relations and global governance. Her latest book include: Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and Colonial Legacies, edited with Gabi Maas and Berny Sebe (2015); European Stories: Intellectual Debates on Europe in National Contexts, edited with Justine Lacroix (2010); and Mediterranean Frontiers: Borders, Memory and Conflict in a Transnational Era, edited with Dimitar Bechev (2009). Nicolaïdis contributed the article ‘My EUtopia: Empathy in a Union of Others to the anthology Re:Thinking Europe.
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Re:Thinking Europe: Thoughts on Europe – Past, Present and Future (eds. Mathieu Segers and Yoeri Albrecht)
The anthology Re:Thinking Europe brings together leading international thinkers in a feverish quest to better understand Europe’s present state. They engage in the paradoxes and puzzles of European identity and present new answers to the eternal question regarding ‘the essence of Europe’. In addition to these current-day reflections, a selection of often-overlooked texts that have proved to be of fundamental importance for Europe has been assembled: speeches, essays and thoughts by Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, Milan Kundera, Margaret Thatcher, György Konrád and Barack Obama, among others.
Buy Re:Thinking Europe online or at the programme.