Opening Event of the Crisis Talks in Brussels on 16. June 2016

The complex negotiations of the proposed free trade agreement TTIP and the critical debates in many European societies on the expansion of free trade pose an enormous challenge for EU politics. Since the early days of European integration the competence to determine a common external trade policy has been a cornerstone of the European institutions. Does the recent discourse on procedures as well as on substance signify an enduring and far-reaching crisis of the European project itself? What are the consequences if the crisis cannot be adequately addressed and what would a collapse of the negotiations mean for European integration?

In the European Union crises have always been an important driver for change and progress. Crisis situations allow the heterogeneity of European politics to be transcended through a common perception of a situation as critical and urgent and, therefore, exemplify the need for cooperation. Is the historical experience still valid that crises lead to deeper integration? For example, the Euro crisis or foreign policy challenges like climate change or the Ukraine crisis also seem to arouse strong disintegrative tendencies. The lunch lecture series Crisis Talks, organized by the Leibniz Research Alliance Crises in a Globalized World, will systematically address how crises are perceived in the European Union, how we deal with them and what we have learned from former crises situations.

On Tuesday, 16 June 2015 the aforementioned issues were discussed by:

Welcome note
  • Friedrich von Heusinger (Director of the Representation of the State of Hessen to the EU)
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Dieter Wolf (PRIF, speaker of the Leibniz Research Alliance Crises)
Keynote speech
  • Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr (Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich)
Panel discussion
  • Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr (Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich)
  • Dr. Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, MEP (Committee on International Trade)
  • Hendrike Kuehl (Head of Brussels Office, Transatlantic Business Council)
  • Johannes Kleis (Head of Communications, BEUC)