Schedule 2018


The conference aims to bring together people from across Europe to discuss justice within the European Union. In order to manage this quite ambitious undertaking, we have mixed different formats to create the best atmosphere for a multilevel discussion among the participants.

There will also be enough time and space to get in touch with the other participants to discuss ideas and create networks across Europe and even further. This includes evening programmes in a relaxed atmosphere to strengthen your contacts and clear your mind after intense conference days.

You can find more information about our speakers here.


#1 | Francis Cheneval - The European Union as Demoicracy | Friday 16:00

In his presentation Francis Cheneval first proposes a conceptual analysis of different types of demoicracy as joint and polycentric government of statespeoples, and he will highlight the difference of these models to the EU’s actual intergovernmental centralism. He will then evaluate how appropriate these demoicratic models are for the EU’s further development. It will be argued that a stable and legitimate constitutional arrangement of the EU will be demoicratic, but it will have to accommodate internal demands for diversity and flexibility with external geopolitical pressures imposing greater unity and resilience. 

#2 | Anthony Glees - Younger EU History | Friday 17:45

From an economic alliance of some countries to a political and social union of almost all countries of the European continent, the EU went through a turbulent history. It was always necessary to grow closer together. Recently, however, the idea of national autonomy has increasingly revived, which has led, among other things, to Brexit. Europe is in danger of drifting apart. Historian and politician Anthony Glees will give a keynote speech on the history of the EU, as well as on the reasons for and consequences of Brexit for Europe and Great Britain.

#3 | Matthew Watson - Brexit and Economic Justice: From Britain’s EU Referendum to Empire 2.0 | Saturday 17:00

Matthew Watson will be speaking to the conference theme from the perspective of his ongoing Professorial Fellowship project, ‘Rethinking the Market'. He will be reflecting on the post-Brexit politics of European Single Market membership in the UK, but at the same time trying to explain how some of the pro-Brexit constituencies at the 2016 EU referendum were animated by perceptions of economic justice postponed. These were people who had done everything that had been asked of them over the previous thirty years to adjust themselves to supposed new market ‘realities’, but who had nonetheless seen their lives get harder and their life chances less secure. For them, the vote against continued EU membership was arguably a more generalised revolt against being sold down the river in the interests of enhancing national economic competitiveness. The Hard Brexiteer dream of post-Brexit ‘sunny uplands’ imagines the reinvention of an Anglosphere of pure free trade relations between an entirely deregulated group of English-speaking countries. But the prospects for those people who voted against continued UK membership of the EU on the grounds of having had their claims to economic justice ignored will presumably experience an even more extreme version of what they thought they had voted to leave behind. The question of economic justice for all within the European Single Market is one that EU elites should still be prepared to pay more attention to. But the trajectory that the Hard Brexiteer settlement looks likely to impose upon the UK is no solution at all.

#4 | Klaus Welle - Future Visions | Sunday 11:15

+++ Open to the Public +++

In his keynote Klaus Welle, Secretary-General of the European Parliament, will talk about future visions for the European Union. The EU has faced different challenges during it’s history and managed to cope with them various times. Right now, we experience a crucial phase for the European Union with events like the Brexit and rising Euroscepticism. Klaus Welle will highlight possible steps for the European Union in the future and share some visions with us.


You will be able to choose one workshop. Each workshop is divided into two sessions, with a lunch break in between (see schedule).

#A | Institutions, Laws & Transparency | Dr. Detlev Clemens

Any political system that wants to win the trust of its citizens, and be sustainable, needs to be perceived as “just” or “fair”, including as to the way political decisions are taken ("throughput legitimacy"). Is there a system of institutions and rules that is accessible to all citizens and interests and gives them the possibility to be heard; that considers input from all sides; that ensures transparency of decision-making so that responsibilities can be attributed and politicians be held to account; that ensures equal application of the laws; that communicates with the citizens and seeks their feed-back on its policy output?

The workshop offers you a look from the inside perspective of the European Commission at how much all of this is realized in the EU, and where things could be improved: How does the legislative procedure really work in the EU? Who wields what influence when the institutions work together? How can transparency be ensured? And which role does the European public play in this? These and other questions will be discussed with Detlev Clemens, who is responsible for inter-institutional relations in the European Commission.

#B | The EU's Common Policies on Asylum Governance: Past, Present and Future | Lukasz Dziedzic

The workshop held by Lukasz Dziedzic will deal with the genesis of the Common European Asylum System and provide reasons for why many of its deficiencies have been inherent in the system from the moment of its very founding. It will show that the so-called "refugee crisis" is more of a systemic problem rather than a problem of particularly large of movements from 2015 onward. Starting with the system's roots in the aftermath of the Single European Act the workshop will address the many failed opportunities to correct some of the systemic deficiencies at moments of particular discursive significance, such as for example the Balkan wars of the 1990s. It will also try to show that one of the main underlying deficiencies of the system is a lack of distributive justice (or "burden sharing" as it is also referred to in debates) in regard to the asylum seekers the EU accepts as a community. The ultimate goal then, however, will be to collectively with all the workshop participants think about the future of the system and about the ways in which to address all of this systemic deficiencies.

#C | Approaching Europe emotionally: A European identity or the tale of two Wiener Schnitzel | Katharina Moser

During this interactive workshop, Katharina Moser will present two stories of initiatives that emerged over a Wiener Schnitzel and that both aim to foster a more positive European identity: #FreeInterrail and Routes - The European journey in the middle of Vienna. Starting with those stories, this workshop will dig deeper into the concept of a European identity and work on the following questions: can identities be created through connection and cooperation rather than conflict and separation? How has European identity emerged or been created so far? Which areas of identity do exist and how are they perceived? This workshop will not stay on a theoretical level, but also try to break down the concept of identity to a personal level: what it is that forms our very own identity and which factor do personal experiences play when it comes to a European identity? What are the steps each one of us can take in order to foster a bigger European identity? And how can we ensure that we all have equal "access" to this identity? 

#D | Non-Monetary Balancing | Alfred Pfaller

The discussion about Europe is often connected with the question of costs and benefits the European Union provides. In advance of the so-called Brexit the leave campaign argued with a (wrong) amount of money Great Britain has to contribute to the EU budget, a major argument for many people to vote for leave. This workshop by Alfred Pfaller will take a look at this topic in discussing the advantages and disadvantages the EU provides to their member countries. Not only in monetary terms as often done, but also in terms of shared values, the freedom of travel, the single market and a common defense policy.

#E | Civil Society | Mirko Schwärzel

After an introduction to Article 11 of the EU Treaty, the workshop will focus on theoretical, political science-oriented considerations on the relationship between civil society commitment and participation in EU decision-making processes. The existing forms of participation will be considered, but also further requirements in this respect within the EU context.

Together with the participants, Mirko Schwärzel will try to answer the key questions of what role active commitment may play in making European policy processes more participatory and, vice versa, whether political participation has always to be looked at in the context of civil society commitment.

The workshop will then examine practical implications for justice within Europe. To this end, options will be discussed as to how the EU can be made fairer through civil society commitment.

#F | Budget Allocation | Dr. Tamás Szemlér

While the European Union has changed fundamentally since the end of the East-West conflict, the EU budget financing and allocation system has not changed much for almost three decades. In 2017, many initiatives have been taken, such as the White Paper (and the related Reflection Papers) of the European Commission, Macron's speech at Sorbonne University, or a proposal by former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Recently, the proposal of the European Commission for the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 has signalled the start of a renewed intensive debate on the EU budget. On the basis of these proposals, this workshop held by Tamás Szemlér will discuss the equitable financing and allocation of EU funds. The aim is to develop theses for an equitable EU budget.

#G | Integration Models | Dr. Michael Wohlgemuth

The issue of European integration goes to the heart of the European idea. In this workshop, the approach of a multi-speed Europe will therefore be discussed. Does this form of integration promote justice or does it increase injustice? What are the opportunities and risks of a multi-speed Europe? Michael Wohlgemuth of Open Europe Berlin will lead this workshop.


Discussion Formats

Welcome back & Visions | Saturday 10:00

On Saturday morning we will be gathering to start the second conference day with a short overview on what’s going to happen.
Afterwards we will hear some “European Visions”, meaning existing ideas and organizations who will present their concepts of improving the EU at our conference. For example, the European movement VOLT will talk about their idea.
Another interesting guest will be Ralf Kapschack, member of the German parliament, who will deliver a short welcoming speech.

World Café | Saturday 15:00

The World Café comprises seven tables – one table for each workshop. Participants of the respective workshops will supervise these tables. The remaining participants will familiarise themselves with the content from the other workshops and discuss their theses in three times lots, each 20 minutes long. This format offers room for thoughts and associations which will be noted down for further use. It intends to allow for an exchange of knowledge about the workshops not attended and for discussions on justice within Europe. 

Reflection Module | Sunday 10:00

The Reflection Module is all about the motto on Sunday – “taking action”. Participants may submit ideas on how to make the EU more equitable already on Saturday. During the Reflection Module participants will have the opportunity to present these ideas, ask for proposals for improvement and consider alternatives. Hopefully, this will result in the formation of initial networks implementing the recommendations for action after the conference.

Fishbowl | Sunday 13:00

The Fishbowl format facilitates an interactive discussion between all those present due to its focus on participation. At the beginning, several experts sit in a circle in the middle, around which the rest of those present are placed. In case of other discussion formats, such as the panel discussion, one would call the rest of those present an audience. In case of the fishbowl format, however, the circle of those discussing is soon dissolved so that people from the audience may enter the circle in the middle in order to contribute their opinion, questions or expertise. This results in a constant change of those discussing and of perspectives – an effect in which the intention of the conference is to express itself one last time.

The fishbowl discussion at the EU Conference focuses on the pivotal question of how things are looking for justice in the EU and which options exist to improve it. On this basis, participants and experts will meet one last time before returning to the part of Europe they came from.