“Fwd: Europe” starts with a public panel discussion on Wednesday evening at Französische Friedrichstadtkirche. The subsequent conference takes place at Berlin-Schwanenwerder on Thursday and Friday. It is possible to participate in both parts seperately.
The European Union is facing many challenges. During the past few years, the so-called “Euro-crisis” has highlighted that deeper economic integration cannot be maintained without the fact steps towards a closer political union. While fundamental political decisions are on the agenda, there is a lack of public debate around these critical aspects determining Europe’s future.
Today, Europe seems to be a daily reality and very abstract, particularly for young people, at once. Many of them yet enjoy the European cultural diversity and the freedom of movement granted by Schengen. While enthusiasm for languages, culture and encounters with fellow Europeans is ever popular, this trend has not automatically generated identification with the political structure of the “EU”.
An alarming fact is that some founding elements of the European project, namely mutual cooperation and solidarity as the basis for peace, economic growth and social welfare in all member states, are increasingly doubtful for young people. They not only are under the impression that their voices aren’t heard, but the persuasive power of 60 years of continued economic growth has been eroded by the impact of recent policies to counter the financial crises. Many people perceive these attempts as one sided and as a direct cause of social hardship for an entire generation.
All three elements – an ever-accelerating dynamic in European integration, the lack of opportunities to participate and dwindling trust in the EU´s benefits – have driven many EU citizens into the arms of euro-sceptical parties. For those who feel overwhelmed or threatened by plurality and economic change, the promise of an allegedly secure national state yet again has become seductive.
During the past months and years, many promising initiatives have reinvigorated the debate about Europe's future. To further support this trend, the conference “Fwd: Europe” invites committed Europeans to present their projects, exchange experiences and develop new ideas to strengthen European civil society. Which projects and narratives of Europe promise to be successful in the future? What are the expectations young citizens have towards the EU? How can citizenship education for European democracy be shaped in the future?
We kindly invite you to join the debate!
On behalf of all cooperating institutions
Dr. Claudia Schäfer, Evangelische Akademie zu Berlin
Ole Jantschek, Evangelische Akademien in Deutschland e.V. / Evangelische Trägergruppe für gesellschaftspolitische Jugendbildung
Partner organisations: European Democracy Lab, Publixphere
The activity takes place within the framework of the Protestant network for citizenship education of young people (Ev. Trägergruppe für gesellschaftspolitische Jugendbildung) and is supported by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth - BMFSFJ.
Wednesday, September 30th 2015
Französische Friedrichstadtkirche, Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin
5 p.m. Arrival and registration
6 p.m. Welcome
Dr. Christian Staffa, Evangelische Akademie zu Berlin
6.15 p.m. Fwd: Europe – The future of European democracy
Keynote: Dr. Ulrike Guérot, European Democracy Lab, Germany
▪Blerina Karagjozi, one-europe.info, Albania
▪Dr. Mayte Schomburg, publixphere.net / Fellow at Berkman Center for Internet & Society at
Harvard University, Germany / US
▪Jon Worth, activist and blogger, jonworth.eu, Germany / UK
▪ Benjamin Zeeb, Project for Democratic Union, Germany
Facilitator: Ole Jantschek, Evangelische Akademien in Deutschland e.V. / Evangelische Trägergruppe für gesellschaftspolitische Jugendbildung
8.30 p.m. End of the panel discussion
Wednesday, September 30th 2015
9 p.m. Transfer of conference participants from Französische Friedrichstadtkirche to Schwanenwerder island
9.30 p.m. Welcome, snack and getting to know at the villa
Thursday, October 1st 2015
Evangelische Bildungsstätte Schwanenwerder, Berlin
from 7.00 a.m. Breakfast
8.30 a.m. Shuttle Service from S-Bahn station Nikolassee for guests only taking part in the conference
9.15 a.m. Welcome & “HELLO!”
10.00 a.m. Join the discussions online – spread inspiring ideas
Eva Breitbach, Community manager, publixphere.net, Germany
10.15 a.m. “Our Europe” – a journey through the life of young people in 24 countries
Peter Laugesen / Elena Askløf, our-europe.com, Denmark
10.45 a.m. Coffee Break
11.00 a.m. Doing Europe - It’s (not) about identity!?
Eva Feldmann-Wojtachnia, “Research Group Youth and Europe”, Center for Applied Policy Research, Germany
12.30 p.m. Lunch
2.00 p.m. Doing Europe – Inspiring projects to promote active citizenship and participation of young people in Europe
Projects are welcome to present their work in a short pecha kucha and during the open space – get in touch!
6.30 p.m. Dinner
8.00 p.m. “V for Varoufakis”
Friday, October 2nd, 2015
From 7.00 a.m. Breakfast
9.15 a.m. Conclusions and impulses for discussion
10 a.m. Strengthening European democracy – Insights for citizenship education and youth participation
▪ Victoria Kupsch, European Democracy Lab, Germany
▪ Rüdiger Noll, OIKOS-Net Europe, Germany
▪ Jochen Butt-Pośnik, Service and Transfer Agency EU Youth Strategy, Germany
▪ Alexandre Egger, Think Young, Brussels
▪ Tobias Köck, German Federal Youth Council (DBJR)
▪ Marc Cases, International Falcon Movement – Socialist Educational International, Barcelona
12 p.m. Wrap-up and farewell
12.30 p.m. Lunch
1.30 p.m. Shuttle Service to S-Bahn Nikolassee
Information for participants
“Fwd: Europe” means: Forwarding and promoting ideas that are inspiring and worth spreading. You want to get in touch with other people, present your work or learn from the experiences of others? There are different ways to join the discussions:
“Doing Europe” – Prepare a pecha kucha presentation or propose a session!
The basic idea of the conference is to allow for exchange and networking among participants. In tracks 1 and 2 of the session “Doing Europe”, you can introduce your work in a pecha kucha presentation. Pecha kucha means 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, 6 minutes and 40 seconds in total. Afterwards, there will be time to split up in groups for discussion. In the third track, other questions or ideas for cooperation can be discussed in an open space format. Participants are free to move between discussion rounds.
“Experiencing Europe” – Bring your European partners!
Bringing partners from different countries together, is always a challenge. We want to encourage you to invite your partner organisations from European countries. For those who want to present a project, support for travel costs is available.
“Debating Europe online” – Join the discussion on Publixphere!
Before, during and after the conference, the political discussion platform publixphere.net will make your voice heard. Starting Sept. 5th 2015, you will find three controversial discussions on the issues solidarity in Europe, European identity and youth participation. Check out www.publixphere.net and join the discussions. Your ideas, questions and opinions will be included in the conference.
“Forwarding Europe”– Help promoting good ideas on social media!
The conference’s hashtag is #fwdeurope.