Photos      About the event      Programme     Speakers
 
     
 

 

The photos


 
 
 
 

 

The European Union and its Member States face the challenge of regional separatist movements, some of which use the language and instruments of 'nationalism'. The reasons for and background of these movements are complex and rather diverse between different countries, but they have in common that the economic and political crisis in the EU is fuelling the debates. 

At a moment when the EU also needs to re-balance its relations with the Member States, the regional-separatist dynamic creates an additional need for democratic EU level decision making: while to some regional separatists, the EU is part of the problem and of the reason why they seek 'self-determination', to others the very existence of the EU provides a safe context in which their struggle for 'independence' becomes possible.

This means that the EU and its institutions cannot avoid being dragged into the ongoing debates in the different Member States. In an integrated European Union, these matters are no longer 'internal' affairs of individual member states. Moreover, a number of EU policies and issues, from regional policy to Macro-regions, from institutional representation to freedom of movement, is likely to be affected by regional separatist demands.

It is also clear that this issue cannot be addressed merely from a legal or constitutional point of view, but that the following questions require democratically legitimated, political decisions:

Is the European Union currently in a position to integrate different kinds of power-sharing, devolved, de-centralised, or federalised lower levels of governance? How would it be able to provide a stable environment for future decision-making? Which elements of the European Union need to be strengthened to make sure that solutions are not imposed from above, but could be negotiated bottom-up? How can this crucial problem be addressed with a view to achieve a 'Europe with the regions', rather than a 'Europe of regional nations'?

These are some of the questions which will be at the core of the initiative of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions through an open debate seeking to explore different scenarios for a future balance between the EU, its Member States and its regions.

 

 
 

 

Programme
 

 Interpretation: EN - FR - DE - IT - ES - NL  NEW VENUE: Committee of the Regions
Rue Van Maerlant 1
1040 Brussels
Room VM1 (2nd floor)
14.30
Welcome and Opening:

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions
and President of the German-Speaking Community of Belgium

14.45
Impulse Statement: Federalism as an Answer to Regional Separatism?

Dr Annegret Eppler, European Centre for Research on Federalism, Tübingen

15.00
First Panel Debate: How to React to Regional Separatism?

Moderated by: Eddy Caekelberghs journalist, RTBF

 Bruno Tobback, Leader of the Sp.a

 Anna Terron i Cusí, former Catalan MP and CoR member 

 Irene Oldfather, former Scottish MP and CoR member  

Tamara Ehs, Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna

Followed by a debate with the audience

16.15
Coffee-Break
16.30
Second Panel Debate: Regional Separatism and the EU

Moderated by Jean-Pierre Stroobants, journalist for Le Monde

 Yves Bertoncini, Director of European think-tank Notre Europe

 Patrizia Toia, Member of the European Parliament 

 Paul Nemitz, Director for Fundamental Rights and Union Citizenship (European
    Commission) 

Followed by a debate with the audience

17.45
Conclusions

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions
and President of the German-Speaking Community of Belgium

18.15
Cocktail reception

 

 
 

 

 More info on the speakers

 Speakers

 

 
 


Karl-Heinz Lambertz
President of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions,
President of the German-Speaking Community of Belgium

 


Dr. Annegret Eppler
Research associate at the University of Tübingen

 

Eddy Caekelberghs
Journalist at the RTBF

 
 


Bruno Tobback

President of the Flemish socialist party sp.a

 


Anna Terrón i Cusí

former member of the PES Group and of the Catalan Parliament


 


Irene Oldfather

Former member of the PES Group and of the Scottish Parliament.
Councillor within the North Ayrshire Council

 
 

Tamara Ehs
Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna

 
Jean-Pierre Stroobants

Brussels correspondent for Le Monde
 

Yves Bertoncini
current Director of the Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute

 
 
Patrizia Toia MEP

Vice-President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament for Cohesion Policy
 
Paul Nemitz

Director for Fundamental Rights and Union Citizenship (European
Commission)
 

 
 

 

 

 


 
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