The Crisis of the EU Project

5 – 8 September 2016   print this page

Course directors:

Goran Gretić, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Zoran Kurelić, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Wolfgang Heuer, Free University of Berlin, Germany
Waltraud Meints-Stender, University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein, Germany
Gilbert Merlio, University of Paris 3 - Sorbonne Nouvelle, France
Cristina Sanchez, Autonomus University of Madrid, Spain
Janusz Wiśniewski, University of Poznań, Poland

Course description:

Since the 21th century the world faces several crises, hence, the self understanding of an european modernity is once again on the agenda.

It seems that Europe is on a turning point again since 1989. Due to different current crises such as war, terror, social injustice, poverty, migration and refugee movements on a massive scale, ideologies like nationalism, antisemitism, racism, sexism and homophobia are recurring and questioning the fundamental framework of Europe.

But what is Europe? Has it even been clear? Is it just an idea which does not fulfill its purpose? Is it an unfinished or uncompleted project or a project which is in need of fundamental critics? Can it be described as dreams of the future or even a nightmare? Or else, as Albrecht Koschorke suggested, could Europe in the future constitute a museum of modernity for other continents? What is and can Europe be at the beginning of the 21. Century?

After 1945 it seemed that the common ground of Europe is a negative identification, that „Auschwitz should never happen again“ to speak with Adorno. The UN Declaration of Human Rights was the response towards the catastrophic events of the 20th century. However, many who tried to come to terms with what had happened, to name only a few like Arendt, Adorno, Horkheimer, have criticized these responses, as not facing up to reality, that for example, the human rights declaration was part of the problem and not its solution.

Events such as the reunification of Germany and the breakdown of the former Soviet Union have led to the collapse of the preexisting world order in 1989. The birth of the EU in 1993 - with all its diversity: different histories, traditions, languages and religions - has caused the the introduction of the common currency „Euro“ for 12 European countries. Nevertheless, the finical crisis ever ongoing since 2008 has put the EU to the proof.

Terror acts, war and refugee movements led to an overthrow of exiting borders by opening and closing them again. Moreover, France`s parliament extended the state of emergency for three month after the terror attacks last year.

All these events are questioning the self understanding of Europe and are challenging the european concepts and ideas. Do our existing concepts and ideas correspond with the other and do they offer an explanation of the current crises? Or does the current crises rather highlight their constitutional weaknesses and we have to rethink them in the light of recent events?

Participants are welcome to contribute to this wide ranging topic.

Work Schedule:


1.Waltraud Meints-Stender/Hochschule Niederrhein: Equality and Difference. Reflexions on a fundamental question of the political

2.Astrid Hähnlein/University of Freiburg: European Thinking


3.Zoran Kurelić/University of Zagreb: From Hell-Holes to Hell: On Political Agency in Purgatory

4.Helgard Mahrdt/University of Oslo: Europe after Brexit - Arendtian Perspectives on Current Questions

5.Vedran Jerbić/University of Zagreb: Europe Without Humanism? A Foucauldian Perspective on the Identity Crisis of the Europe


6.Wolfgang Heuer/Free University of Berlin: Bridges and Border – Queering Europe

7.Lana Pavić/University of Zagreb: Limits of European Cosmopolitanism in Practice - Hospitality as a virtue of the Place

8.Ajla Čustović/University of Zagreb: Islamophobia and Europe


9.Vlasta Jalušić/Peace Institute in/and University of Primorska, Ljubljana: Why does Mujo want to go to Germany or how to think the problem of superfluousness in Europe today

10.Pero Mrnarević/University of Zagreb: Social Justice and Crisis


11.Alexey Salikov/I. Kant Baltic Federal University of Kaliningrad: The Russian perception of the European Union

12.Goran Gretić/University of Zagreb: The Crisis of unification of Europe - same Reflections on the polemics of the Latin Empire