Beyond the Crisis? European Transformations

International Conference in Flensburg

There is strong evidence that the financial and economic crisis that struck Europe in 2008, and was amplified through the fiscal, financial and monetary crisis of 2010 (‘Euro-Crisis’) and the political crisis that emerged after the Greek election January 2015, is not only an effect, or a side-effect, of globalization and global crisis. To the contrary, our basic assertion is that the crisis reached existential proportions for the European Union because of the structure of the European economic and political system. The crisis made obvious that the current institutional composition of the European Union excludes substantial alternatives to an intergovernmental and technocratic mode of politics, which appear to tie the EU to a particular evolutionary path. Apparently, the intergovernmental and technocratic mode of politics comes to its limits now, the road back to national politics is closed, and no transnational democratic alternative in sight that has the power (and money) to cope with a transnational and global economy that is ever more beyond political (and democratic) control.

This interdisciplinary conference will address two key issues related to this problematic. The first is to clarify what the crisis has done to the European Union, not only as a legal and economic community but also as a harbinger of democracy. From its very inception, the European Union has gradually evolved into a political, social and even cultural community of states, nations and European citizens. The present crisis affects all these dimensions. In order to understand the nature and effects of the crisis we need to draw on the combined expertise of social, political, economic and legal disciplines. The second aim of the conference is to bring these different disciplinary perspectives together in order to establish whether there are ways of remedying the negative effects of the crisis.The conference, in its talks, lectures and seven panels, will focus on the question of a European crisis-induced metamorphosis and the democratic prospects that might ensue. We hope we can count with your presence to enrich the debates which will follow the planned interventions.

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