Three days of intense debates, workshops, a book presentation, discovering the European heritage of the city of Gdańsk – this wide range of activities was proposed to 150 participants of the “Europe with a view to the future” Forum that took place on 28-30 May in the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk, Poland.
The Forum EUROPE WITH A VIEW TO THE FUTURE is an international socio-political project that addresses issues related to Europe and Europeans. It is a meeting for influencers and change initiators that represent different generations, dimensions and perspectives; for people that share a common concern for the future of the European Union and the ambition for an effective action in areas dividing the community. The Forum, co-organized hbs Warsaw from the very beginning, gives them space and opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences.
During the Forum we raised a variety of topics and issues crucial for the understanding of the current situation in Europe. Thus, the discussion was launched with a reflection
on the independence of Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries regained in 1918. We have also looked closer at the heritage and experience of Generation ’68 and at similarities and differences between the West and East. Another important issue was Europe after the economic crisis: is solidarity between Europeans a realistic perspective for the upcoming negotiations on the multiannual financial framework? Moreover, we debated on the situation in Russia after the presidential election and discussed Europe’s ability to build a common policy towards its biggest Eastern neighbour. During the fifth panel we discussed European identity and values, which led us to the key question: what kind of Europe do we want to live in?
The concerns shared by the participants can be summarized with the words by Robert Alagjozovsky, philosopher and minister of culture of Macedonia, during his keynote speech at the last panel:
We live in a period of radical muddle between the grounded left and right ideology, their position in politics is paradoxically like an obverse and reverse. We live in time when freedom, identity, solidarity and equality are granted by constitutions and parliaments. At the same time we build high walls and divisions by class, culture, ethnicity and nationality.
We hope to continue the inspiring discussion next year and invite all of you in May 2019 to Gdańsk!
Debate: European economy after the crisis – lessons learnt?
Eoin Drea, economist and Economic Historian, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Dariusz Filar, economist, academic teacher, writer, member of the Monetary Policy Council in 2004–2010
Sebastian Płóciennik, economist and lawyer, head of the Weimar Triangle programme at the Polish Institute of International Affairs
Host: Małgorzata Kopka