On 16 May 2019, the fourth edition of our event series #BarTalkEurope took place in Berlin. The event was organized as part of "Repair and Prepare: Strengthening Europe," a joint project of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Jacques Delors Institute Berlin.
From 23 to 26 May, Europeans will elect a new parliament, and a new European Commission will begin its mandate this fall – as this political change of the guards approaches, the debate on the future of Europe is already in full swing. One crucial question is how Europe can deal with its economic and social challenges. Some of these challenges vary greatly within the EU and have been exacerbated by the economic crisis, but also by processes such as digitisation, globalisation and structural change in general. In addition, there is Brexit and a weakening world economy, which also shows its impact on Europe. What are the most pressing challenges for Europe's economy and society? How can we combine both, social with economic integration?
These are just two examples of the questions discussed at our most recent #BarTalkEurope. At the well-attended event in Berlin-Kreuzberg, interested young professionals from politics and science followed the presentations of Dominic Ponattu and Sylvia Schmidt (both Project Manager at the Programme Europe's Future, Bertelsmann Stiftung). Firstly, Dominic Ponattu discussed how current economic challenges and Europe's competitiveness can affect social participation. Sylvia Schmidt then analysed social imbalances and obstacles to participation in the EU in order to provide an insight into the different social conditions and their effects on the everyday lives of Europeans. Heidi Marleen Kuhlmann, Head of Public Relations at the Jacques Delors Institute Berlin, moderated the stimulating Q&A session and discussion with the participants.
The next issue of #BartalkEurope is planned for autumn 2019.