“Alternative Europa!” Kick-Off Workshop at the European Academy in Otzenhausen

The “Alter­native Europa!” project has been launched on occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties! Our mission: we want to lead a youthful and bold debate on the future of the European project of integration. Our goal: to create a network of junior researchers, young profes­sionals and activists from civil society organi­za­tions and educa­tional insti­tu­tions which extends beyond the usual circle of federally-organized powers.

The kick-off workshop took place on 24 and 25 April at the European Academy in Otzen­hausen. Aided by factsheets produced by the “TruLies” project, funded by Stiftung Mercator, on Monday 22 partic­i­pants exchanged ideas on strategies of argumen­tation with eurosceptics. Under the guidance of Professor Dr. Norbert Gutenberg, Univer­sität des Saarlandes, partic­i­pants developed a reper­toire of concrete answers and persuasive strategies.

In the evening, partic­i­pants looked back to past visions of Europe through Europe films from the 1950s. Together with Anne Bruch, DFG-project research associate at the University of Hamburg, they discussed both conti­nu­ities and changes in these visions and their modes of repre­sen­tation in the years since the Union’s foundation.

Having taken a look back into the past, on the second day partic­i­pants exchanged their views on the future of the EU with one another. They spoke with one another about both the forms and topics they would like to address in the course of the cooper­ative 10-month project “Alter­native Europa!” These topics and visions will be further developed in working groups as well as at a variety of events leading up to the conclusion of the project in November.

Alter­native Europa! was initiated by the Institute for European Politics (IEP) together with the Junges Europawis­senschaftliches Netzwerk (JEN) of the Europawis­senschaftliches Netzwerk Deutschland (END) and the European Academy in Otzen­hausen in cooper­ation with the Arbeit­skreis Europäische Integration (AEI), the Junge Europäische Föder­al­isten, the project “TruLies: The Truth about Lies on Europe”, Polis 180, the University of Hamburg and the University of Hildesheim.

A detailed report of the workshop will be available shortly. Images from the two-day event can be found in our gallery.