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Germany and the European Union, Europe House, April the 8th

In Germany, there is a discussion going on whether a shift of power from Berlin to Brussels is desirable and to what extent. How does this influence the European democracy?

Background information:

Currently Germany is economically seen as one of the best performing European countries of the 21st century. As economic integration in the European Union deepens, the issue of political integration is on the agenda once more. This is certainly the view of the German chancellor Angela Merkel. According to her point of view a political union is a major opportunity for the long term economic and monetary union.

On April 8th, mr. Bütikofer, president of the Green Party in Germany from 2002 till 2009 and since 2009 a member of the European Parliament, and prof. Haverland will go more in-depth on the issue of Germany and the European democracy.

On the one hand, Germany is being criticized for imposing too harsh criteria with regard to the euro crisis, especially by EU Member States who are battling the crisis every day. On the other hand, a debate is going on within Germany whether a shift of power from Berlin to Brussels is desirable and to what extent. How do these dilemmas influence the German position within the EU?

Due to the rapid and intensive political integration more and more powers are handed over to Brussels. Critical Dutch politicians and citizens think that further European political integration will damage the parliamentary democracy: on top of that they think there is no sufficient democratic legitimacy on the European level in return. This consequently hinders any furthering progress towards a more political union.

What is the German point of view on this dilemma? Is there a similar hesitation considering a transfer of sovereignty? Do Germans have more faith in their national democracy than in a strong European democracy? Have they given any more thought to European democratic possibilities as well as the conditions under which European democracy could possibly flourish?

This debate is part of the debate series 'The State of the European Democracy'.

Practical information:


16:30 hrs Opening reception

16:45 hrs Welcome by Hans Goslinga

16:50 hrs Introduction by prof. Haverland

17:10 hrs Introduction by mr. Bütikofer

17:30 hrs Debate, moderated by Hans Goslinga

18:15 hrs Closing reception

Date: Monday, April 8th, 16:45 - 18:15 hrs

Location: Huis van Europa, Korte Vijverberg 5/6, The Hague

This debate will be in English. Registration is free, but obligatory.

You can register here