30 May, 2016 – 11:00 to 20:00
Armbrustergasse 151190 Wien

Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, in cooperation with the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the Directorate for Security Policy of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Defence and Sports, is organizing a seminar titled Vision for NEXT EUROPE: How to cope with a fundamental political re-set of the Union?.

Is the EU still a success story and a cornerstone of European stability and prosperity? Currently, the EU faces a range of political and economic pressures, including slow growth and persistently high unemployment rates in many EU countries, as well as the rise of far-right populist parties, at least some of which harbor anti-EU or “euroskeptic” sentiments. Such factors are complicating the EU’s ability to deal with a multitude of unprecedented internal and external challenges. Among them: the definition of the external borders of the EU; the future of EU enlargement; the decision over a stronger EU (federalization, EU defense integration) or a two (or even three) speed Europe.


Session 1

What Next Europe is going to be? Will it be a Next Europe or Next Europes? Fragmentation and erosion of the EU, business as usual or a new beginning?


  • Robert Cooper, Diplomat, Former Counsellor, European External Action Service
  • Ulrike Guérot, Founder and Director of the European Democracy Lab at the European School of Governance in Berlin
  • Caroline de Gruyter, author and journalist, a European Affairs correspondent for the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad
  • Torbjorn Sohlstrom, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sweden

Moderator: Hannes Swoboda,  Member of the European Parliament 1996-2014, President of the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats from January 2012 to June 2014

Session 2

Do we go for a stronger EU (federalization, EU defense integration) or we will have a two (or even multi-) speed Europe? How do we imagine the future of EU enlargement? Do we see the Western Balkans, Turkey, and Ukraine as part of EU? How do we define the external borders of the EU? How do we protect the borders especially in EU neighboring countries?


  • Zoltan Martinusz, Director DG C – enlargement, Council of the EU
  • Milica Delevic, Deputy Secretary General, European Bank for Research and Development
  • Monica Clua Losada, Visiting Professor Political Science, Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, vice-chair of the Critical Political Economy Research Network of the European Sociological Association
  • Yannis Mastrogeorgiou, Director of DIKTYO Network for Reform in Greece and Europe
  • Milan Nič, Research Director, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Bratislava

Moderator: Vessela Tcherneva, Senior Director for Programmes and acting Head of ECFR Sofia Office, European Council on Foreign Relations

Session 3

The significance of the deal with the UK and the possible outcomes of the referendum on June 23 – what if Brexit? How do we have to re-think the Union, the EU institutions, do we get closer or fall apart? Will Next Europe be based on the same values we share now? Will Next Europe be a safe place to be?


  • Adam Fagan, Professor European politics and Head of school, Queen Marry University of London
  • Ruth Wodak, Emeritus Distinguished Professor and Chair in Discourse Studies at Lancaster University
  • Ulrich Ladurner, Foreign policy reporter DIE ZEIT
  • Jiří Přibáň,  Professor, Cardiff Law School
  • Lars Ebert, programme co-ordinator of the cultural centre Castrum Peregrini in Amsterdam

Moderator: Stefan Lehne, expert on European foreign policy and international security, visiting scholar, Carnegie Europe, Brussels.

You can download the full programme here.


Milan Nič

Head of Future of Europe Programme