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Ninth Debate on European Identity, 11 March - Ana Palacio: "The Core EU
challenge: democratic deficit or trust deficit?"
Introduction speech: English Biography
The session was introduced by Ms Ana Palacio, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, member of the Council of State of Spain.
In her presentation entitled ‘The core EU challenge: democratic deficit or trust deficit ?’ She shared her reflections on Europe and its future.
Ms Palacio’s presentation was followed by a discussion with the audience. The debate was held in English.
More on Debates on European identity
DPP Open thought papers - n° 18
The Directorate of Policy Planning has designed this new series of conceptual notes to inject new ideas from outside sources and stimulate innovative thinking. The ‘Open Thoughts Papers’ are based on publications and research results of the academic community.
'The Curious Case of the Fall in Crime : The Rise of Human Rights?’
"Around the summer of 2013, several high-ranking newspapers, specialised weeklies and (governmental) internet sites reported on a rather curious decline in crime in the UK and the US as well as in other Western countries, in particular over the last two decades. These crime categories especially concern ‘contact’ crimes such as homicide, rape, knife-, gun- and gang-related crimes or domestic assault . As a result, the political scene warmly welcomed the fall in crime, emphasising “the efforts by their police forces in combatting crime and delivering a better service to the public despite savings and reforms in the security department” (statement by the UK Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker on 17 October 2013)."... Read more
Cooperation with think tanks
New ! - Advisory Report by the think-tank Task Force on 'Smart Power - Ways of Enhancing the Council of Europe's impact'.
As a follow-up to the December 2012 meeting of major think tanks, a task force-format with three different CoE-related focal topics has been decided, each on a central topic or concept which from the CoE’s perspective seems to be of strategic importance in the near or long-term future:
To date, two Task forces have met, gathering high-level and experienced think tank representatives.
The first task force, ‘Smart Power – Ways of Enhancing the Council of Europe’s Impact’ met in Munich, on 27 June 2013. The activity report above is the result of the discussions which were devoted to general strategic questions concerning the Council of Europe’s role and impact as an international organisation in the future. Major aspects such as the Council’s mandate, its relationship with the EU, capabilities-question etc. were also addressed, as well as : How can the CoE’s political impact be enhanced? What strategies could be imagined to make the Council and its work more relevant and visible to societies and governments? What could the relationship between the Council and other international organisations look like and which synergies could be used? The work of this task force could later result in an innovative new “political strategy” for the Council of Europe.
The second task force ‘The Pan-European Dimension: Ensuring the Use of the Council’s Wider European Membership’ addressed the membership and scope of the Council of Europe as one of its key assets.
The third task force ‘Challenges to European Societies: Identifying Major Risks and Finding Innovative Policies’ is expected to meet in Spring 2014.
Eighth Debate on European Identity with Tzvetan Todorov on 'In search of Europe', 13 February 2014, Council of Europe, Strasbourg
According to Tzvetan Todorov, the growing unhappiness with the European Union (EU) amongst the population should be understood as a response to politicians’ lack of vision for the European project. Interminable debates on bureaucratic rules and regulations, coupled with inadequate responses to the economic and social crises facing Europe’s citizens, leave citizens discouraged.
He remains convinced that the rationale in favour of the EU is still valid and suggests that building a cultural, or even spiritual, identity for Europe may help to overcome many disappointments and strengthen people’s connection with Europe.
Tzvetan Todorov notes the benefits from the richness of European culture, its plurality and diversity of traditions and ways of life, but he also sees difficulties with attempts to define a shared identity. He opts for an identity which refers to the constitutive pluralism of the EU as a basis of unity. This should embrace tolerance, emulation, critical thinking, generalised secularism, "general will" (Rousseau) and "common sense" (Kant). He draws particular attention to the significance and status of diversity as well as common memories and the coexistence of national and regional identities (‘Europe as a form of cohabitation between nations’).
Text of speech (French only)
Sixth Debate on European Identity with Daniel Cohn-Bendit on "Quo vadis Europa ?" 18 November 2013, Council of Europe, Strasbourg
In a recent article Daniel Cohn-Bendit argued that “the time is ripe for a transnational, trans-generational, trans-partisan, grass-roots and crowd-funded movement to take European integration to the next level”. He suggests that Europe has a role to play as one of the global leaders, but to achieve this, Europe needs a paradigm shift based on the abandonment of national sovereignty and a move away from state-nation structures.
Is Europe ready to undertake these kinds of reforms and do
European institutions have enough legitimacy to do so?
Text of speech (French version - English version to follow)
|POLICY PLANNING IN BRIEF|
of Policy Planning (DPP) was set up in 2010 in order to provide
the Secretary General, the Committee of Ministers and Major Administrative
Entities (MAEs) of the Council of Europe with conceptual and strategic
analyses about relevant political and societal developments in Europe
and beyond. Its work is based on research and on topical exchanges
with internal and external networks. The objective is to enhance
the Organisation’s ability to anticipate major trends and challenges
facing member states and to offer coherent short- and long-term
responses within its statutory mandate.
Policy planning missions explained by Director Piotr Switalski :
interview (February 2014)
: Watch interview (February 2014)