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Meetings Calendar 2006
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What Next? A New Sound?

 

The question ‘Why the European Union?’ was always met with the standard response: ‘peace and prosperity’. But what was still a dream half a century ago, amid the rubble, is now taken for granted as a reality. At the same time, some people are asking out loud whether today’s European Union is not too much an answer to the concerns of the past and too little an answer to the challenges of the future. What kind of European Union do we want in the future?

What answer do we have to the question posed by the Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski:

‘If we would like the EU to be [not just] a place for money temples of banks and the stock exchange, but also a place where material [prosperity] is surrounded by art and is used to help the poor, if we want freedom of speech, which can so easily be misused to propagate lies and evil, as well as being used for inspiring works – then what is to be done?’

Will the ‘Lisbon Agenda’ provide answers to these questions and have sufficient appeal to give the EU the élan that it lacks, or is something else needed? And if so, what? How much political integration is necessary? What are the concerns and the challenges for the future, and what role can the European Union play in responding to them? What does the rest of the world expect of the European Union?

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Date: 31.01.2006