Time to Decide Europe Summit to Address Urgent Questions Facing the Continent

More+Events ♦ Published: May 11, 2023; 20:36 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Time to Decide Europe Summit, a one-day conference co-organized by ERSTE Foundation and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), is set to address the most pressing dilemmas posed by the war in Europe. The conference will bring together prominent thinkers, political scientists, and economists to untangle the urgent questions facing Europe today and offer insights into the future of the continent.

The ERSTE Foundation and IWM will hold the Time to Decide Europe Summit at the Grand Hall on the ERSTE Campus in Vienna. / Picture: © Erste Group / Christian Wind

Last year, the conference was born out of the shock of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine, and it became an integral part of the thoughts and actions that started to deal with the crisis in political, economic, and social terms. This year, the conversations and debates will continue as Europe faces another year of challenges.

The conference will seek to answer critical questions such as what the coming year will bring about, how Europe's foreign and defense policy will be transformed, and whether Europe's democracies will emerge weakened or strengthened from the current crisis. Other topics on the agenda include the future of the economy and ecology in Europe and whether risks can be turned into opportunities.

"Europe is at a crossroads, and it's time to decide on the direction we want to take," said Gerald Knaus, chairman of the European Stability Initiative and one of the speakers at the conference. "This summit is an important platform for dialogue and exchange, and it will help us navigate the complex challenges facing our continent."

The event brings together important personalities from politics and academia to discuss the challenges faced by Europe and the world. The conference began with opening speeches by Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, and Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission. The CEOs of the ERSTE Foundation and the Permanent Fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Boris Marte and Ivan Vejvoda, respectively, host the conference. The moderators are Misha Glenny, Rector at the Institute for Human Sciences, and Ivana Dragičević, Editor-at-Large at N1 Television.

In the first panel, "The Unbearable Lightness of Power: Europe, Geo-Politics and the War in Ukraine," Janka Oertel, Director of the Asia Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and Soli Özel, Senior Lecturer at Istanbul Kadir Has University, will discuss the EU's geopolitical posture and strategy in light of the war in Ukraine. The invasion has caused a deep reassessment of the Union's security dependence on the United States. The panelists will address questions such as whether the EU should decouple from the US's geopolitical agenda and what this would mean for the Union's standing on the global stage.

In the second panel, "Challenges to European Democracy: Fear, Loathing and Hope," Jan-Werner Müller, Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University, and Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, Director of the Institute Strategies2050, will discuss the challenges that European democracies face in today's world. The crises faced by the EU in the last decade have divided societies and formed new cleavages. The panelists will address the impact of these crises on the governability of European democracies and whether they are under siege from authoritarian regimes and tendencies.

The last panel, "Fueling the Future: Economy, Energy, and Environment," will discuss the challenge of ensuring environmental protection and economic competitiveness while facing the need to decouple the EU's dependence on Russian energy. The conference will address the issue of how far the control of the market should go and who should control it.

The conference brings together important writers, campaigners, and academics such as Anthony Barnett, Milica Delevic, Kirsten Dunlop, Taras Fedirko, Gerald Knaus, Ivan Krastev, Mary B. Warlick, and Guntram Wolff, among others. The event promises to be a stimulating discussion of the challenges facing Europe and the world today.

The Time to Decide Europe Summit will take place on May 16, 2023, at the Grand Hall, ERSTE Campus, Am Belvedere 1, 1100, Vienna. The conference is open to the public, and attendees can register on the event's website.

ERSTE Foundation