If UKIP were pigeons, Clacton-on-Sea #Banksy
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Panel discussion

Wednesday, 23. September 2015 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Save in my calendar

Panel discussion

The Rise of the Right in Europe and the Decline and Fall of Practically Everything Else

Böll Lunch Debate

Sixteen months have gone by since the last election to the European Parliament; twelve months since the new European Commission, the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security and the new European Council President took up their duties. So far it has been a bumpy ride for the new parliamentarians and leaders of Europe. The eurozone crisis has developed into an ongoing thriller whose likely ending, a Grexit, keeps being postponed by breath-taking and unexpected plot developments; the conflict in Ukraine in the eastern neighbourhood of the European Union keeps deteriorating and the migration and refugee crisis originating in the EU’s southern neighbourhood has reached dramatic proportions. The European Union hasn’t looked very good in its attempts to solve any of these major crises to put it mildly: its actions either came too late or nothing happened at all; they didn’t go far enough or went in the wrong direction. In short, Europe demonstrated a worrying lack of insight, solidarity and leadership. In the meantime Euroscepticism, right-wing populism and extremism have profited from the general inertness and lack of leadership: In the European Parliament where Marine Le Pen managed in adding a second extreme rightwing group to the fragmented political spectrum; in recent national elections and opinion polls where right-wing parties did shockingly well (e.g. in Denmark, Sweden, Italy and France); in the streets where they have mobilised against migrants and Roma (e.g. in Germany and Hungary) and even on government level (e.g. Hungary and Slovakia). Europe is in dire need of leadership, ambition and more cooperation, but instead its leaders seem to turn against each other in a desperate attempt to gain domestic popularity. Is there a chance that EU leaders refocus on the values the Union was built on and take urgent action before the European project disintegrates into complete chaos?

Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament (Greens-EFA) 
Judy Dempsey, nonresident Senior Associate at Carnegie Europe and editor in chief of the Strategic Europe blog 
Janis A. Emmanouilidis, Director of Studies and Head of Programme at the European Policy Centre (EPC), Brussels

Klaus Linsenmeier, Director Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union 

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