With temporary border controls threatening to become permanent in response to the refugee crisis and a spirit of separatism in the air, leading commentators from central Europe assemble in Budapest to discuss how to reverse the deepening divisions among EU member states.
Europe is not supposed to be about borders. It is supposed to be about pursuing the ideal of the four freedoms and ever-closer union. And yet the Eurozone is becoming a club that enforces economic divides within the European Union.
With temporary border controls threatening to become permanent in response to the refugee crisis, there is a spirit of separatism in the air; while the Brexit referendum is imminent, the Catalan question never went away. And as Erik Tabery writes in an article first published in the Czech weekly Respekt, “Central Europe no longer exists, only East and West, as it used to be”. Cold War divides may be returning too. These trends surely need reversing. But how?
Photo: Sten Dueland. Source: Flickr
Peter Balazs, director of the Center for EU Enlargement Studies at the Central European University, and Beata Jaczewska, executive director of the International Visegrad Fund, are to introduce a public debate in Budapest on 19 February, where these pressing issues will be discussed.
The debate will be chaired by Wojciech Przybylski, editor-in-chief of Eurozine and chairman of Res Publica. The panellists are: political scientist Krisztina Arató, of Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary; Martin Ehl of the Czech daily Hospodarske noviny; and economist and publicist of Tomasz Kasprowicz of New Europe Institute, Poland.
When: Friday 19 February, 15:00 CET
Where: Popper Room, Central European University, Nador ut. 9, Budapest
Organizers: The Center for EU Enlargement Studies at the Central European University; Res Publica, the publisher of Visegrad Insight; and Eurozine.
Full details of the Border anxiety panel discussion in Budapest