The reunification project of Europe is in grave danger. As an alliance that has in the past been divided by violent conflicts, the European Union appears to be succumbing to the same forces it sought to counter in the first place. The spread of right-wing populism, alongside a growing neoliberal agenda, is causing the common legacy of Europe to come under question. The EU institutions and political actors themselves appear unable to offer a working alternative to the current state of affairs beyond proposing a further centralisation of power, which is a key source of public dissatisfaction in the first place.
The “European Democracy in the (Un-)Making” panel examines the possibility of reversing the power narrative in the EU by spotlighting the political and civil society initiatives aiming at institutional and political reform. By involving the regions and citizens in the decision-making process, the European Union might change course and foster an environment of mutual cooperation, instead of heading straight back to its past state of political rifts and national division.
Aleksandra Lakić moderates, a sociologist with a background in political science who will apply her research to leading the conversation. She is actively engaged in the Democracy in Europe Movement (DIEM25), which panelist Dominik Schlett — a European citizens rights activist with a focus on freedom of movement — also coordinates. Activist Folashade Ajayi is also taking part, applying her experience in social sciences and anti-discrimination to issues of anti-racism, gender equality and migration policies. Communication and cultural management expert Marie Rosenkranz completes the circle, applying her knowledge of grassroots organizations and think tanks, like European Democracy Lab and Polis180, to shaping foreign and European policy.