Zagreb Forum VI

The future of Europe in the context of global change

Zagreb, September – December 2021.

In the context of turbulent international relations, the European Union faces a number of challenges that are rapidly changing the quality and way of life of its citizens. In the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the process of shifting the geopolitical influence of global and regional actors continued, the European Union is exposed to a number of securities, geopolitical, economic and social risks. The pandemic, the challenges of migration and terrorism, the consequences of climate change, the geopolitics of Brexit, and the increasingly tense relationship between the European core and its periphery, together with the economic crisis highlighting demographic trends, social justice, equality and intergenerational solidarity, are changing the perspective of European values. As the German politician Joschka Fischer states, “traditional European debates can no longer, for granted, rely on the accelerated path towards ever stronger European integration … “Western elites will not regain public confidence until they provide answers to the demands placed on them and without which democracy and its fundamental institutions will not be able to function.” Namely, a democratic society is based on strong institutions and elected political leaders, and a stable government never draws its strength from the force and repression, but from the authority and respect for the public opinion of its citizens.

The widespread feeling that institutions and political elites have greatly betrayed the expectations of citizens has favored the rise of populism as an expression of dissatisfaction with the institutions of liberal democracy. Modern democratic societies, including European ones, which are considered the most inclusive political communities, face the fact that an increasing number of their members feel excluded from the process of political decision-making and participation in economic and social progress. This is one of the most serious problems that needs to be part of a wide-ranging social debate to ensure the future of modern democracies and the realization of the project of further building and strengthening the EU.

Therefore, the Croatian Association of International Studies – HUMS, within the traditional conference – Zagreb Forum VI presents the Conference on the Future of Europe, which will take place through three panels in the period from September to December 2021, all with the aim of opening a constructive discussion on joint the future of the European Union.

HUMS is an independent think tank that interdisciplinary approaches complex social challenges that have a decisive impact on contemporary socio-political and international relations, as well as on the shaping geopolitical and geoeconomic trends. HUMS is the voice of the independent Croatian scientific and professional public. The realization of this project, which is primarily aimed at young people, encourages them to the thoughtful social realities of their countries, but also the European Union as a community of peoples based on common values and highest political ideals. Through the activities of workshops and webinars, participants, but also the general public will have the opportunity to participate in creating public policies of the European Union.

  • Open an open and transparent public debate on the challenges facing the European Union, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Involve young people as well as the general public in decision-making processes, ie bring them closer to a structured and transparent process within which they can directly influence the creation of European policies;
  • Bring the debate closer to those citizens who do not trust the European project in order to remove the reasons for their distrust, because only in this way can effective and responsible public policies be formed that aim at the well-being of all citizens;

THE ROLE OF THE EU IN THE WORLD

The debate should provide answers to some of the key questions: can the EU realizes the idea of strategic autonomy and become a relevant global geopolitical player? How to improve foreign policy decision-making at EU level and how to ensure effective implementation of adopted decisions? Will the Strategic Compass be a satisfactory replacement for the Common European Defense and Security Policy? Can the EU guarantee the security of its citizens and its borders without NATO?

EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY

What are the causes of the democratic deficit within the European Union and how to eliminate them? Is it possible to improve European democracy without revising the Lisbon Treaties? How to make EU central bodies directly accountable to citizens?

DEMOGRAPHIC CHALLENGES

Demographic challenges have a direct impact on the socio-economic relations and political systems of nation states, as well as the European Union, which become extremely vulnerable in circumstances of low birth rates. Expectations of global population growth are not the subject of purely academic interest – these data are crucial for analytical assessments and reflections on the future of society, as well as for international relations. Especially in the context of potential geopolitical tensions, conflicts and expected waves of migrants, they are therefore extremely important for the European Union.

U kontekstu turbulentnih međunarodnih odnosa, Europska je unija suočena s brojnim izazovima koji ubrzano mijenjaju kvalitetu i način života njenih građana/ki. Pandemija COVID-19, izazovi migracija, terorizam, posljedice klimatskih promjena, geopolitika BREXIT-a kao i odnos europske jezgre i njene periferije, uz gospodarsku krizu koja je otvorila pitanja demografskih trendova, socijalne pravednosti, jednakosti i međugeneracijske solidarnosti, snažno utječu na stabilnost Europske unije te mijenjaju perspektivu njenih liberalnih vrijednosti.

Programe:

Thematic Panel 1: The Role of the EU in the World

September 27, 2021, at 5 p.m.

During Thematic Panel 1: The EU’s role in the world” an attempt will be made to answer some of the key questions: Can the EU achieve the idea of ​​strategic autonomy and become a relevant global player? How to improve foreign policy decision-making at EU level and how to ensure its effective implementation? Will the Strategic Compass be a satisfactory replacement for the Common European Defense and Security Policy? Can the EU guarantee the security of its citizens and its borders without NATO?

Keynote speaker: Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Democracy and Demography

Conference Moderator: Jadranka Polović, PhD, Assistant professor

Panelists:

  • Jelena Jurišić,PhD, Assistant Professor
  • Božo Kovačević, ambassador
  • Jadranka Dujic Frlan, PhD
  • Nevena Stankovic,

Thematic Panel 2: European Democracy

October 18, 2021, at 5 p.m.

During Thematic Panel 2: European Democracy an attempt will be made to answer some of the key questions: What are the causes of the democratic deficit within the European Union and how to eliminate them? Is it possible to improve European democracy without revising the Treaty of Lisbon? How to make EU central bodies accountable directly to citizens and not to Member State governments?

Conference Moderator: Jadranka Polović, PhD, Assistant professor

Panelists:

  • Božo Kovačević, ambassador  
  • Doc.dr.sc. Mladen Nakić
  • Izv.prof. dr.sc. Petar Popović
  • Sonja Trgovčić

Tematski panel 3: Demografski izazovi EU

9. prosinac 2021. u 17.00 sati
u online formatu

S razvojem novih tehnologija i digitalizacijom društva, a u okolnostima pandemije te snažnih geopolitičkih napetosti, demografska i migracijska problematika postaju predmet znanstveno – istraživačkog interesa, prvenstveno zbog sigurnosnih izazova koje donose. Scenariji i projekcije rasta ili smanjivanja broja globalne populacije, s tim povezan utjecaj na društvo, buduće geopolitičke relacije, te međunarodnu sigurnost, svakako doprinose činjenici da se vlade širom svijeta, time i Europska unija pripremaju za izazove upravljanja u okolnostima demografskih rizika koji imaju izravan utjecaj na društveno-ekonomske i političke sustave već sada vrlo ranjive.

Naime, fenomen rasta broja globalnog stanovništva (ili mogućeg pada) ne predstavlja tek akademski interes – ovi su podatci ključni za analitičke procjene i razmišljanja o budućnosti ljudskog društva, ali i međunarodnih odnosa, osobito potencijalnih geopolitičkih napetosti, ratova i sukoba. Trenutne procjene izgrađuju se na pretpostavci kontinuiranog rasta stanovništva (persistently ballooning population) i upućuju na nestašicu resursa kao i oskudicu u okolnostima klimatskih promjena i zagađenja okoliša, čimbenike pod utjecajem kojih se oblikuje priroda unutar-državnih tenzija i međunarodnih odnosa.

Sigurnosna pitanja koja uključuju problematiku migracija kao i dohvata radne snage potrebne gospodarskom razvoju, pitanja održivosti temeljnih sustava na kojima počiva svako društvo, nacionalne države, ali i EU (mirovinskih, obrazovnih, zdravstvenih, znanstvenih, pravnih…), a u kontekstu sveobuhvatne digitalizacije jesu prvorazredni izazovi s kojima se suočava Europska unija.

Demografska budućnost mogla bi biti „čaša napola puna“ s ublažavanjem najgorih učinaka klimatskih promjena i iscrpljivanja resursa, ali i „čaša napola prazna“ s procesom propadanja kapitalizma i političkih sustava kakve poznajemo (Zackary Karabell, 2019). Stoga je preokret trendova u globalnoj populaciji nova društvena paradigma, trenutno izmaknuta iz fokusa javnosti, zbog čega će Hrvatska udruga za međunarodne odnose – HUMS kroz posljednji, treći panel konferencije Zagreb – Forum VI otvoriti raspravu o navedenoj problematici s ciljem poticanja građana da promišljaju ove procese, te da se sami izravno uključe u razmjenu ideja i stavova kroz višejezičnu platformu Konferencije o budućnosti Europe.

Moderatorica: dr.sc. Jadranka Dujić Frlan, HUMS

Panelisti:

  • Doc.dr.sc. Jadranka Polović, HUMS
  • Nevena Stanković, Fakultet bezbednosti, Beograd, RS
  • Matija Štahan, novinar i publicist
  • Doc.dr.se. Boško Picula, FPZ, Sveučilište u Zagrebu
  • Božo Kovačević, veleposlanik

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