Europe on Test: The Onus of the Past and the Necessities of the Future

Conference organised by the Polish Academy of Sciences as part of the ALLEA Series Europe on Test: Narratives of Union and Disunion

Europe is in the crucible! The ‘poly-crisis’ which hit the EU in the last decade – esp. the financial crisis threatening monetary union; the mismanagement of the mass inflow of refugees and migrants; the failure of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; Brexit; and the rise of populism and Euroscepticism – have not destroyed the European integration project. On the contrary, outside states have demonstrated their European aspirations, and the overall support for the European Union has been increasing – for now.

Indeed, there are several indications that, in the long run, the EU’s response to the current challenges might be not sufficiently effective, if only because identification of their causes has sometimes failed. One of the most neglected causes is the impact of the past as it appears in the standard narratives of the societies of EU Member States. The collective memory of nations participating in European integration is a very fragile phenomenon that can easily be exploited by short-sighted, ruthless political leaders in order to mobilize their electorates.

Core questions to be addressed in the conference series include:

  • What has held Europeans together and what is dividing them?
  • What kind of Europe do we want to create, what kind of Europeans do we want to be?
  • How does the past of European countries may affect the present and future state of Europe?

Conference Programme

09.30 – 10.00Registration
10.00 – 10.05Welcome address by Prof. Jerzy Duszyński, President of the Polish Academy of Sciences
10.05 – 10.15Welcome address by Prof. Antonio Loprieno, President of ALLEA
10.15 – 10.25Musical accent for the start

Session 1

The role of history and collective memories of the past in making the European polity
Chair: Dariusz Stola

10.30 – 10.50Lecture by Anton Pelinka
10.50 – 11.35Panel: Marcin Król, Joanna Kurczewska, Peter J. Verovšek
11.35 – 12.00Discussion
12.00 – 12.30Coffee break

Session 2

European identity as a key to overcoming historical tensions
Chair: Agnieszka Łada

12.30 – 12.50Lecture by Krzysztof Pomian
12.50 – 13. 35Panel: Józef Niżnik, Andrzej Rychard, Ruth Wodak
12.35 – 14.00Discussion
14.00 – 15.00Lunch

Session 3

European interests as a shared responsibility
Chair: Maciej Kisilowski

15.00 – 15.20Lecture by Claus Offe
15.20 – 16.05Panel: György Lengyel, Artur Nowak-Far, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz
16.05 – 16.30Discussion
16.30 – 17.00Coffee Break

Session 4 – Conclusions

Toward European solidarity in meeting the challenges and shaping the future
Chair: Jacek Kucharczyk

17.00 – 17.20Lecture by Virginie Guiraudon
17. 20 – 18.05Panel discussion: Michał Boni, Bogdan Góralczyk, Heather Grabbe
18.05 – 18.30Discussion
18.30 – 18.40Closing words


11 October 2019

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Open to the public; registration mandatory

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72 Nowy Świat str. 00-330 Warsaw

Polish Academy of Sciences



Daniel Kaiser
ALLEA Policy Officer