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In the EU We (Mis)Trust: on the road to the European elections

You can find an account of the event, a link to the debate video, an image gallery, Philippe Legrain's keynote speech as well as a profile on him and the strategic report of the project under the New Pact Europe tag in our Library.

There is a growing mistrust of the EU among Europeans. Many citizens perceive the EU as being too distant and too bureaucratic. In the run-up to the European elections in May, the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and De Balie are jointly organising a public debate about the EU and its future: In the EU We (Mis)Trust – on the road to the EU elections. This debate is part of the New Pact for Europe* project, that examines the challenges facing Europe today, and the strategic choices that need to be made.

As Dutch citizens prepare to cast their vote for the European Parliament on May 22, the debate could not be more timely. At a moment in history when mistrust among citizens goes far deeper than the economic crisis, we want to know your vision for the future of the EU. Should we go back to the basics, undo the mistakes of the past? Dismantle the euro? Should we leap forward towards a fully-fledged political and economic Union? Or should we focus on finding new ways to involve citizens in the continent’s future? 

We need a much more ambitious debate in the Netherlands, and between European leaders and citizens. We need a ‘New Pact’ and a new understanding of Europe, to inspire us to shape the future of the EU going forward.

Come and join the debate and help us to decide which path we should travel.


Start: 20:00. Doors open: 19:45

George Pagoulatos, Professor European Politics and Economy, Athens University of Economics & Business; Member of the Governing Board, ELIAMEP, Athens

Philippe Legrain, writer and former economic advisor to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, and Head of the Analysis team of the Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA), will give the second key note speech. 

Other panelists include:

Jet de Ranitz, President of the Executive Board, Amsterdam School of the Arts and Chair of Kunsten ‘92, Dutch association for arts, culture and heritage
Bas Eickhout, GroenLinks candidate in the European elections and Vice Group Leader of the Group of the Greens, European Parliament
Gerben Jan Gerbrandy, D66 candidate in the European elections
Dirk Gotink, CDA candidate in the European elections and Policy Officer at the European Parliament
Kati Piri, PvdA candidate in the European elections and Programme Manager South-Caucasus and Moldova, NIMD (Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy)
Eric Smaling, SP candidate in the European elections and Member of the Parliament

The debate will be moderated by Lennart Booij, co-founder of BKB, The Campaign Agency, Amsterdam. 

*About the New Pact for Europe

This debate is part of the New Pact for Europe project launched by a transnational consortium of foundations, including the ECF, and in partnership with the European Policy Centre. The initiative aims to promote a Europe-wide debate on reform proposals to shore up an EU hit by financial, economic, political and social turbulence, as well as global challenges. The goal is to feed these ideas into the work of the new EU leadership that will take office after the May 2014 European elections.