Event EU: Make up or Break up!? In the Czech Center Berlin

The hot topics of the upcoming EU Parliament elections are discussed by experts on the field

March 12th, 2019
Kristina Jochmannová, Anastasia Petrova, Silja Saarela, News from Berlin
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The movement of Yellow vests, barricades, fire, and streets in chaos. The whole of Europe shudders in front of this worrisome development. Is this how the future of Europe will look like? Is the turmoil about to start from the big European cities? These questions where amongst the interest of three European professionals in the event “EU: Make up or break up!? How to achieve more social justice in the EU?” in Czech Center Berlin.

The talk was held by experts in European affairs, Alexander Friedrich (Workers´ welfare association AWO Deutschland), David Jahn (Young Liberals Berlin party), and Pavel Polák (Berlin correspondent for Czech Radio). The event series Lunch Time Talk was moderated by the director of the Czech Center Berlin Director Tomáš Sacher and the program director of European Academy Berlin Anneke Hudalla, on Monday 11. 3. 2019. The audience was encouraged to ask questions and they could even join the conversation on stage as the chair and mics were set for them.

The discussion was kicked off by the speakers’ views about the upcoming European Parliament elections. While they had different approaches on the issue, they seemed to find a common ground when discussing the importance of cooperation within Europe. Especially Jahn highlighted the Liberals’ pro-European ideas and mentioned the importance of a common EU army.

The talk continued discussing social justice and how Europe should work together towards better justice. The conversation evolved around the cohesion policy and common agriculture policy of the EU. In Polák’s views, there could be quite differing consequences of introducing basic income for all Europeans.

Mentioned was also the EU’s financial crisis, the possible outcomes of adoption of common currency and the rising gap between living standards and incomes of EU member countries. A representative of the Volkswagen group from the audience asked about the taxation in the EU. Jahn responded by raising an idea of regulating what should be taxed within the Union, although the tax values should be nationally decided.

Anastasia Petrova, one of our correspondents asked, how the possible interference of Russia in the EU elections could be tackled. Friedrich highlighted the role of education concerning the selection of the information in the field, as well as proposed at least basic orientation of fake news and disinformation be the long-term solution.

In the end, the audience was invited to try out traditional Czech snacks in the Café Ahoj temporarily located in the Czech Center Berlin in order to enable the possibility of networking and further discussion. Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, the Czech Center Berlin plays an important role to present Czech culture worldwide.


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