Preparatory meeting for the European Debates in Berlin

Datum: Mar 19th, 2014
Category: Debattieren in der Öffentlichkeit, International, Klartext Europa, Politik und Gesellschaft, Veranstaltungen

The elections for the European Parliament are right around the corner. This year’s elections promise to be different. For the first time, the citizens of the European Union can directly vote for the President of the EU parliament, while the rise of far right groups could create tensions in the EU.

Under these impressions, the coordination meeting for the European Debates took place in Berlin this weekend. Right in the heart of Berlin, at the Allianz Foundation Forum next to the Brandenburg Gate, 23 young Europeans gathered to plan and discuss the series of upcoming debates. The association Bürger Europas e.V. (Citizens of Europe), in cooperation with the Association of German Speaking University Debating Societies (VDCH) and its international partners, organise a series of 22 debates in seven nations (Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, France, Austria and Sweden), supported by the Allianz Cultural Foundation, the European Parliament and the German Federal Press Office.

Die Ausrichter der Klartext Europa-Debattenserie European Debates treffen sich zu einem Vorbereitungsseminar in Berlin (c) ?

The participants pose for a photo in front of the Allianz Foundation Forum on the Pariser Platz in Berlin (c) Christoph Krakowiak

The European Debates will be undertaken in an Oxford-Style debate: Two speakers on either side are debating a motion that is an important question for the European Union. Of the four participants, two usually are either members of the European Parliament or have in other ways valuable insights into the work of the European Union. They are supported by a student speaker each.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation by Oliver Hänsgen, member of the European Parliament’s representation in Germany. He refreshed the knowledge about the EU and its institutions and the political process. On Saturday, the meeting discussed the challenges of organizing debates, exchanged experiences and discussed the planning of the debate series. In the afternoon, subgroups discussed the motions for the 22 debates. On Sunday, the group discussed the content of a short video clip that will be one result of the first debates to promote youth participation in the political discourse.

This preparatory meeting proved to be very productive and useful for the further implementation of the European Debates project. We would like to thank all participants for their ideas and share of knowledge, as well as the Allianz Cultural Foundation for providing us with this excellent conference venue.

Florian Umscheid/hug

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