13.12.2013: 3rd Bremen EU Expert Roundtable


Third Bremen EU Expert Roundtable – December, 13th 2013, 9:30-18 Uhr – EuropaPunktBremen, Bremische Bürgerschaft (Bremen Regional Parliament)

Thinking beyond the crisis in transnational dialogue.

Jean Monnet Centrum for European Studies (CEuS), in cooperation with Bremer Europazentrum BEZ e.V (ZERP, Hochschule Bremen, EuropaUnion Bremen), EuropaPunktBremen, The Greens / European Free Alliance in the European Parliament


Dr. Franz Cromme (Delmenhorst, Staatssekr. a.D.)
Dr. Detlev Ehrig (UniHB, FB WiWiss)
Dr. Tatjana Evas (CEuS, UniHB)
Prof. Sergio Fabbrini (Luiss, Rom)
Dr. Petra Guasti (Uni Mainz, CEuS-affiliate)
PD Dr. Thorsten Hüller (UniHB, Sfb 597)
Prof. Daniel Innerarity (Globernance / Bilbao)
Dr. Claas Knoop, Botschafter a.D. (Bremen)
Dr. Hermann Kuhn MdB, AdR, Bremen)
Prof. Friedrich Lehmann (HB)
Prof. Ulrike Liebert (CEuS, UniHB)
Prof. Lina Papadopoulou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Dr. Joachim Schuster (SPD Bremen)
Dr. Helga Trüpel (MEP, Bremen)
Dr. Arndt Wonka (BiGSSS, UniHB)
Dennis Zagermann (CEuS, UniHB)

Questions for EU Expert Roundtable (participants will circulate short papers in advance and/or to deliver oral statements for discussion):

„More Europe!“ is the answer often given in response to the financial, sovereign debt, economic and institutional crises in which the EU has increasingly been entangled since 2008, also from German political elites. Meanwhile Northern EU States carry liabilities for Southern Members at the level of three digit billion amounts, but the Eurozone is still far from crisis resistant.

In contrast to Southern Europe, this response has been met by a lack of public debate on alternative German EU policies, up until the most recent elections of September 2013. Germany is located in the power centre of the EU and the Eurozone, but remains reluctant to address the urgent questions which Southern European politicians and experts pose. Euro-crisis related assumptions, goals and strategies that the upcoming German government coalition will eventually negotiate and spell out in its coalition agreement therefore need to be critically reflected in a broader transnational perspective:

  1. North-South or transnational social cleavage: Was the politics of the Euro-crisis over the past years conducive to a new cleavage within the Eurozone that emerged between the Northern core benefiting from and the Southern periphery loosing through the crisis, or did it rather provoke transnational patterns of social and political conflict within and across North and South?

  2. German policy continuity vs. change: Is the new German government likely to continue along its path of muddling through the Euro-crisis, that is, will it seek to preserve monetary union by saving packages for states at insolvency risk on the one hand, in exchange for strict austerity and reform cures imposed on them, on the other? Or will it adopt new perspectives, conducive to correcting / changing past policies?

  3. Political reform capacity: To what extent have the Southern European Member States in fiscal crisis been capable of implementing effective political reforms, and can they be realistically expected to improve their reform capacities in the future? Or are they already exhausted, and what are the major factors for this?

  4. Coping with social and political consequences: How did banking- and sovereign debt crises, austerity conditionality and economic recession impact social standards and the internal social cohesion of the crisis countries in Southern Europe? And in what ways did their democracies under stress cope with the political challenges deriving from social crisis dynamics, be it protest movements, political party system fragmentation, or the strengthening of politically violent extremes at the expense of the liberal centre?

  5. More EU: If savings and reform packages alone did not help crisis countries move towards sustainable debt and economic competitiveness, balanced trade and public budgets, which alternative/complementary measures would be economically rational and politically feasible: A debt relief pact (“Schuldentilgungspakt”) or Eurobonds and fiscal union? Insolvency procedures and exit? Parallel currencies or a North-South-Euro? Strengthening of ECB competences and a European Monetary Fonds? A „European Marshall Plan“ based on a „Green New Deal“?

  6. Social justice: How could strategies for promoting (smart) growth incorporate social justice – and what works against such objectives? Should „more Europe“ also imply „fiscal union“, including minimum standards for company profits, capital gains, pacts against tax evasion, a financial – and even a single market transaction tax aimed at strengthening the proper resources of the Union? What speaks in favour, what speaks against this?

  7. Protecting democratic constitutionalism: What would be the costs and benefits of repatriating policy competencies from Brussels and Luxemburg back to the MS’s, and in which domains would a „slimming down “ of the Union (the Eurozone) be promising? Facing the current mutations of constitutionalism in the MS’s, does the EU need a new architecture with changed institutions, or even a new constitutional foundation?


The Third Bremen EU-Expert Roundtable will contribute to discussing these questions in transnational German-South European perspectives aimed at thinking beyond the Euro-crisis. It invites experts from Greece, Italy and Spain for a day-long discussion of these questions. The interested public is welcome (depending on availability of seats).

Weitere Informationen und Anmeldungen/Papers bei:
Universität Bremen
Fachbereich Sozialwissenschaften
Jean Monnet Centrum für Europastudien (CEuS)
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Liebert (liebert@uni-bremen.de)
Sekretariat: Katrin Dorow (kdorow@uni-bremen.de)

Tel: 0421 218 67030/1

09:30 – 10:00 Welcome, Horst Seele-Liebetanz (EPB),
Introduction, Ulrike Liebert (CEuS)
10:00 – 11:10 (1) Assessing the CDU/CSU & SPD coalition agreement aimed at a „strong Europe“: new perspectives? views from the EP? implications for Euroland? Kick-off statements (max 10 min each): Joachim Schuster, Helga Trüpel, Dennis Zagermann
11:15 – 12:30 (2) Revisiting euro crisis governance, a source of new patterns of Euro-political conflict? Kick-off statements (max 10 min each): Sergio Fabbrini (CV), Arndt Wonka
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 – 14:40 (3) Revising fiscal adjustment and structural reform policies in Euro-states at risk: external requirements, political reform capacities and societal resources? Kick-off statements (10 min each): Detlev Ehrig, Dimitri Sotiropoulos
14:45 – 15:40 (4) Understanding the constitutional challenges of the debt crisis: international law as a field of struggles? Kick-off statements (10 min each): Lina Papadopoulou (CV), Tatjana Evas
15:45 – 16:45 (5) Thinking beyond the crisis: how to turn sensible ideas into viable practices? Kick-offs (10 min each): Daniel Innerarity (Paper), Franz Cromme, Hermann Kuhn
16:45 – 17:00 Conclusion: Ulrike Liebert