Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies


The Crisis of the EU Project
05 Sep 2016 - 08 Sep 2016
Course directors:
Goran Gretić, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Wolfgang Heuer, Free University of Berlin, Germany
Zoran Kurelić, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Waltraud Meints-Stender, University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein, Germany
Gilbert Merlio, University of Paris - Sorbonne, France
Cristina Sánchez, Autonomus University of Madrid, Spain
Janusz Wiśniewski, University of Poznań, Poland
Course description:

Since the 21th century the world faces several crises, hence, the self understanding of an european modernity is once again on the agenda.

It seems that Europe is on a turning point again since 1989. Due to different current crises such as war, terror, social injustice, poverty, migration and refugee movements on a massive scale, ideologies like nationalism, antisemitism, racism, sexism and homophobia are recurring and questioning the fundamental framework of Europe.

But what is Europe? Has it even been clear? Is it just an idea which does not fulfill its purpose? Is it an unfinished or uncompleted project or a project which is in need of fundamental critics? Can it be described as dreams of the future or even a nightmare? Or else, as Albrecht Koschorke suggested, could Europe in the future constitute a museum of modernity for other continents? What is and can Europe be at the beginning of the 21. Century?

After 1945 it seemed that the common ground of Europe is a negative identification, that „Auschwitz should never happen again“ to speak with Adorno. The UN Declaration of Human Rights was the response towards the catastrophic events of the 20th century. However, many who tried to come to terms with what had happened, to name only a few like Arendt, Adorno, Horkheimer, have criticized these responses, as not facing up to reality, that for example, the human rights declaration was part of the problem and not its solution.

Events such as the reunification of Germany and the breakdown of the former Soviet Union have led to the collapse of the preexisting world order in 1989. The birth of the EU in 1993 - with all its diversity: different histories, traditions, languages and religions - has caused the the introduction of the common currency „Euro“ for 12 European countries. Nevertheless, the finical crisis ever ongoing since 2008 has put the EU to the proof.

Terror acts, war and refugee movements led to an overthrow of exiting borders by opening and closing them again. Moreover, France`s parliament extended the state of emergency for three month after the terror attacks last year.

All these events are questioning the self understanding of Europe and are challenging the european concepts and ideas. Do our existing concepts and ideas correspond with the other and do they offer an explanation of the current crises? Or does the current crises rather highlight their constitutional weaknesses and we have to rethink them in the light of recent events?

Participants are welcome to contribute to this wide ranging topic.