© pixelio/Wandersmann

„Roam‘ like home“ – Roaming charges that have once reminded us that borders in the European Union are still existing, are finally part of history. Moreover, the EU brought us plenty of advantages, such as the chance to travel conveniently and the monetary union – the European Union seems to be boundless. Nevertheless we are facing a crisis: Youth Unemployment, debt crisis, a lack of solidarity and growing nationalism. The idea of a united Europe remains a dream and raises many issues:

Europe Of The Future – The Future Of Europe?“

What defines Europe? The future of Europe? What is the biggest problem of EU?  Since last year before I joined AEGEE I never wasted time thinking about Europe, the EU or political issues in general.

Yesterday I found myself between hundreds of men in suits for the Day of Science „Changing Europe“ (Wissenschaftstag in Bamberg). Me, who hoped in grade 11 during subjects like history or political social studies the lesson for gods sake will finally end. Me, who ignored my right to vote like the dust under my bed. There I am.

Europe is a value proposition – but in reality it does’nt exist“ Prof. Günter Verheugen

Moreover I catched myself getting goosebumps hearing „Europe is a value proposition – but in reality it does not exist“. Günter Verheugen put it in a nutshell and the scell fell from my eyes. The EU does not exist anymore? I think what Verheugen wants to tell us is, that if we do not react now and initiate the right steps in some years the EU could be history.

It does not bear contemplating if privileges like easy going travels, having the same monetary, working and living where you want will disappear!

But why is the European Union in a crisis and their people does not trust in Europe anymore? Among others, these questions have been to be answered among scholars and the visitors in four panel discussions. Among the prominent guests were: Günter Verheugen, Vicepresident of the European Commission, and Melanie Huml, the Bavarian minister of State for Health and Care. The mixed background of participants led to a fruitful discussion and an exchange between european and regional level.

„Reasons And Outlooks For The Crisis“

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Prof. Dr. Riegler’s stating his opinion © Julia Jesser

Our members participated in the panel „Europe of the future – the future of Europe?“. Thereby, we had the opportunity to gain various perspectives on the discussed topics and to have a brief conversation with one of the panelists, Prof. Dr. Elmar Rieger of the Otto-Friedrich University. He stated a possible reason:

The EU is only an Economic and Monetary Union because of the missing social policies“ Prof. Dr. Elmar Riegler

„Capitalism and social policies is a contradiction“ . Furthermore Riegler said that the European Union focussed to much on integrating the market.

This means that the EU has to transform from an economic community to a community which also involves social aspects. But how can we reach this perception and solve the problem of missing european identity? Prof. Dr. Ariadna Ripoll Servent answers that the EU has to set more impulses against populism but for democracy and showing civic resposibility. Prof. Dr. Roland Sturm affirms this opinion as he said that there must follow a national integration.

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After the discussion panel „Europe Of The Future – The Future Of Europe“ we had the change to interchange stortly with Prof. Dr. Elmar Riegler

Europe concerns everybody!

And to give a final conculsion in Prof. Dr. Sturm’s words: Every single citizen bears the same responsibility and it isn’t contracted to Bruxelles. Europe is in the hands of the whole european company. What we can do to empower the european spirit is not to end practising clarification. Spread europtimism and civic education!

For myself it was fascinating that Europe can be seen in so much different facets and I plunged into another world of european values, nationalism and democracy.

The Referents:

Prof. Dr. Strurm, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Prof. Dr. Ariadna Ripoll Servent, Otto-Friedrich-Universität 
Prof. Dr. Elmar RiegerOtto-Friedrich-Universität 
Prof. Günter Verheugen, Vizepräsident der Europäischen Kommission a. D., Europa Universität Viadrina

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Anne, Julia and Flo (from left) in front of the „Konzert- und Kongresshalle“                                                       where the Day Of Science took place ©Julia  Jesser

written by Anne Kautzschmann