Utopia: European Vistas

zaterdag 13 december 2008

The European Union was inspired by the Utopian ideal of peace between all nations. With time, Europe has lost its ideals and become a soulless technocratic establishment. Rising nationalism and backlashes against the European project are testament to this. Europe is in dire need of new ideals. The younger generation of Europeans who dare to dream again can create fresh new ideas for Europe.

14.00-16.30 Workshop I - A functional Utopia

Historian and philosopher Theodore Zeldin conceived the Oxford Muse conversation dinners, as method to stimulate real communication in order to improve trust, cooperation and collaboration. On the menu will be an extended eastern European tea ceremony with various sweets. With every new sweet, the participants receive a question on what kind of Europe we want to be living in and discuss it in pairs. At the end of the workshop there will be a plenary discussion on the ideas that emerged in the personal conversations.
The workshop will be organized and led by ‘Danubian' Leo Halepli in association with Theodor Zeldin.

14.30-17.00 Workshop II - Casino Capitalism: The end of a Utopia

The global financial crisis has thoroughly debunked the widely held ideal of the free market. Authorities are now looking to tighten regulation, outlaw certain speculation practices and a number of banks have been nationalized. The workshop will focus on the interplay between the ideology of neo-liberalism and the financial crisis. We will explore the possibilities of Europe with its compromise of neo-liberalism and social democracy to lead the way.
This workshop will be led by Sophie Bloemen & Jonas Wandrin (Investment Banker, BNP Paribas, London).

15.00-17.00 Workshop III - The Helsinki Agreements revisited

The Helsinki Agreements were of major importance to the rise of civil society in Europe during the dark years of the Cold War. They gave particular impetus to the East-West relations in the field of cultural exchange and the mobility of ideas. What can we learn from the role of civil society in the cold war for the problems Europe is facing now? This workshop will introduce on screen European personalities Andrej Sinjavski, Andrej Bitov and Günter Grass among others. Looking to the future, we will reflect on the Helsinki process and invite participants to come up with potential ideas for unconventional (inter)national civic action to contribute to A Soul for Europe.
This workshop will be led by Steve Austen (Permanent Fellow Felix Meritis Foundation and intiator A Soul for Europe) & Karolina Nowacki (The People Network).

17.30-19.30 Final session: Panef discussion & presentation Danube

Danube presents its Manifesto & Thoughts on Utopia. Following the presentation, young European thinkers from East and West, politicians and representatives of the media will discuss Utopia and Europe. The conversation will refer to different aspects and ideas on utopia such as nostalgia as a backward looking utopianism, now increasingly evident in many parts of Europe; the role of utopia for a vision for society; current utopian thought such as fundamentalist Islam, neo-liberalism, and more.
Moderator: Leo Halepli, PhD student London School of Economics

Speakers: Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana (Albania) and artist; Steve Austen, Permanent Fellow Felix Meritis Foundation and intiator A Soul for Europe; Maximilian Freier, London School of Economics; Jacques Monasch, candidate leader PvdA European Parliament; and Valentina Pop, journalist EU Observer.

Exposition ‘Danube Panorama Project' by Michael Asschauer

20.15 Felix Meritis Lustrum concert: Ensemble Caméléon

Admission concert: € 12.50 (special price for participants only; reservations needs to be made seperately)



Young Europeans

13 december 2008
Aanvang: 14.00

Toegang: € 5.00

Felix Meritis
Keizersgracht 324
T: 020 626 23 21
Reserveren: email Felix Meritis of bel 020 623 13 11.
F. 020 924 93 68
E: receptie@felix.meritis.nl