European democracy – from 1848 to today
In 1848 revolutions across Europe created a democratizing wave across the continent, bringing citizens into the political fold to a then-unprecedented degree. 175 years on, 2023 offers an opportunity to reflect upon these revolutions in the context of the European Union, modern democracies, and the wider geopolitical context surrounding them.
On 12 September 2023, we will hosted discussions with high-level speakers at a place of historical and symbolic importance: the Paulskirche in Frankfurt. The Paulskirche hosted the first democratically elected parliament of Germany in 1848. There we reflected on the 1848 revolutions and where they could lead us when thinking about the future of the European Union.
This event is open to the public. The discussion will be held in German and French with simultaneous translation.
In 1848, revolutions took place simultaneously across the continent, making Europe a significant space for discourse and political vision. What does this multilateralism and interconnectedness mean for us today? How can we take the lessons from 1848 into the present, when many of the problems at hand need to be solved on a European, rather than national level?
13.30 – 14.00 Introduction
Dr. Ina Hartwig, City Councilor, Head of Department for Culture and Science of the City of Frankfurt am Main
Ilde Gorguet, Consul general of the French Republic in Frankfurt am Main
Dr. Anna Lührmann, Minister of State for Europe and Climate at the Federal Foreign Office
14.00 – 15.30 Podium Discussion
Between European Democracy and the Nation State: How Do We Move Forward?
We need a stronger and more flexible Europe. At the same time, many feel that the legitimacy of the European Parliament and national parliamentary control of governments are inadequate. How can this tension be resolved? Are our institutions too nationally structured to be capable of acting at the European level? What alternatives do we have?
Dr. Katarina Barley, MEP, Vice President of the European Parliament
Pervenche Berès, Former MEP, Member of the Franco-German Expert Group on Institutional Reforms
Dr. Norbert Röttgen, Member of the Bundestag
Charles Sitzenstuhl, Member of the French National Assembly
Moderation: Dr. Johannes Lindner, Jacques Delors Centre
15.30 – 16.00 Break with Drinks
16.00 – 17.30 Podium Discussion
Before national conceptions: How European were the revolutions of 1848?
How important were European thoughts and ideas during the revolutions of 1848? How relevant were national visions to the pursuit of democracy? What can we learn from these debates and visions for our democracy today?
Dr. Alexandra Bleyer, Historian and author
Dr. Jörg Bong, Literary scholar and author
Prof. Dr. Quentin Deluermoz, Historian at Paris Cité University
Moderation: Dr. Nils Minkmar, Author
17.30 – 17.45 Conclusion
Dr. Johannes Lindner, Jacques Delors Centre