Dr. Maria SkóraTeam
On November 11, the renowned ‘A Soul for Europe’ conference took place at the premises of Radialsystem in Berlin. After an introductory panel various topics were discussed in parallel workshops sessions an at the European Marketplace, following three thematic tracks: Cities and Urban Change, Europe From the Bottom-Up and Arts & Politics – A Good Match? This year, Das Progressive Zentrum had the pleasure of co-hosting this extraordinary event.
Für „Mediating Populism“ wird Das Progressive Zentrum gemeinsam mit dem Think-Tank Demos aus Großbritannien und der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung die Rolle traditioneller Medien in der Legitimierung und Diskreditierung populistischer Parteien in Deutschland und Großbritannien erforschen. Außerdem untersucht das Projekt den Einfluss, den organisatorische Entscheidungen der Medienmacher auf das Medienverständnis in der öffentlichen Meinung haben.
The Visegrad Four has aroused the minds and hearts of political spectators and actors alike lately: From a rather innocent and inconspicuous platform for informal regional cooperation, the V4 has evolved into a perceived antithesis of the European political mainstream in recent years. Yet, is this a mere snapshot of the current state of the V4 or a lasting development? What does the future hold for the V4? And, more importantly, how can progressive forces actively shape this future? Responses of our experts at the second international roundtable on ‘Future Scenarios for the Visegrad Group’ were mixed. Yet, on one aspect there was broad agreement: It is about high time to reinvent progressive politics – both spatially and thematically.
Has the Visegrad Group turned into a unified alliance of enemies to EU integration and refugees? Not according to the experts at our roundtable. Some of them even fear a potential implosion of the group.
The Brexit referendum and the election victory of Donald Trump were the first major successes of right-wing populists in the Western world. Populist agenda, which often lacks valid arguments, proved to be convincing to certain parts of American and British society. Could this scenario repeat in continental Europe? To tackle this question Das Progressive Zentrum in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation invited five American experts and political consultants to a political breakfast on February 24th.
Maria Skóra schreibt für das progressive polnische Portal trybuna.eu über den Kanzlerkandidaten der SPD Martin Schulz. Sie stellt die Person Martin Schulz vor und erläutert, warum er ein Kandidat für schwierige Zeiten ist.
Der Artikel kann hier auf polnisch nachgelesen werden.
In his campaign Donald Trump promised economic policy that will return the power to “the people”. Meanwhile, his agenda includes massive tax cuts, support for economic nationalism on trade favouring exports over imports, financial deregulation and cuts to federal spending on public health care, housing, education, environmental protection. Nevertheless, populist arguments proved to be convincing to certain parts of American society. Could this scenario repeat in Europe? To tackle this question, Das Progressive Zentrum invited five American experts and political consultants to share their thoughts on the recent rise of populism in the U.S. and its possible development in Europe.
Exactly one year after launching DIALOGUE ON EUROPE, a further bilateral half-day #TownHallMeeting was organized – this time in Warsaw. On December 7 th , representatives of academia, civil society and culture from Germany and Poland followed our invitation to discuss possible future scenarios for Europe. Open discussions fed directly into a live conversation about the challenges of European integration and Polish-German relations with Michael Roth, German Minister of State for Europe.
Am 07. Dezember 2016 veranstaltete Das Progressive Zentrum, unterstützt vom Auswärtigen Amt und in Kooperation mit der Stiftung fur Deutsch-Polnische Zusammenarbeit, dem Bundesnetzwerk fur Bürgerschaftliches Engagement, der Krytyka Polityczna und dem Zentrum Stosunkow Miedzynarodowych das #EuropeanTownHallMeeting in Warschau. Der Einladung zum europäischen Diskurs folgten Vertreter/innen aus Zivilgesellschaft, Wissenschaft und Kultur aus Polen und Deutschland.
Currently, the future of the European Union is at stake due to many disintegrative developments: the Brexit-referendum, migration challenge, rising right-wing populism or the persisting economic crisis. Challenges ahead of us are too profound and seminal to be addressed by high-ranking politicians attending closed-door summits only. Sustainable solutions can best be achieved with the support of a strong and well-connected European civil society.
Recent change of government in Poland mobilised many people, the spectrum of civil engagement is however polarised: from defenders of liberal values and adherents of conservative agenda to followers of nationalist resentments.
Representatives of civil society and academics from Poland, Germany and other European countries joined a Polish-German seminar in Wroclaw on 20-21 October in search for answers to the question of what role civil society plays at the political scene in Europe today. It seems that nowadays the notion of Europe has been undermined by an economic crisis, followed by a humanitarian one, resulting from inability to handle of the influx of refugees in Europe. Fundamental European values are questioned. European political culture is currently in need of a new approach and civil engagement. It seems, however, that the notion of “civil society” needs redefinition per se to support European democracies. Radical and populist movements win popularity in many European countries, posing a threat to democratic order. Is the democratic order in danger? Is the pluralist political culture of Europe sustainable?
The development of Poland since the EU accession in 2004 was often seen as a pioneering example for the recent history of the European integration, sending an important political signal for a common European future. In particular, Germany and Poland strove in numerous bilateral initiatives not only to develop closer political cooperation, but also to intensify their cultural exchange.
In summarizing the results of last year’s parliamentary elections in Poland I briefly mentioned that “the rule of Catholic conservatives might stand in opposition to respecting the rights of women “. It took less than a year for this prophecy to come true. Thousands of women in Poland are joining Black Protests to demonstrate against the newest radical anti-abortion law proposal.
In October 2015 the Civic Platform (PO) lost the parliamentary elections in Poland, after having been in power for 8 continuous years. The tables have turned, allowing the national-conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) to form a majority government. Ever since, the PiS – which has president Andrzej Duda already on their side – keeps on petrifying its power while promising „good change“.
In the context of the current refugee crisis the relationship between the Eastern and Western EU member states has become strained. In her contribution, Maria Skóra analyzes Central and Eastern European reactions to the refugee crisis. As conservative nationalism spiced with right-wing populism is on the rise in Central-Eastern Europe, the prospects for coordinated European immigration policies look very grim, indeed.
Die Staaten Mittel- und Osteuropas in der Europäischen Union haben hauptsächlich Austeritätspolitiken und Strukturreformen als Antwort auf die globale Finanzkrise durchgeführt. Diese hatten negative Auswirkungen auf die soziale Gerechtigkeit. Es bedarf eines europäischeren Ansatzes in der Sozial- und Fiskalpolitik, um diese Schieflage in der Entwicklung auszugleichen, argumentiert Maria Skóra in ihrem Discussion Paper.
The Central and Eastern European member states of the European Union (EU) predominantly reacted to the global financial crisis by implementing austerity policies and structural reforms, which have had negative repercussions for social justice. To counter this unfortunate development, this paper argues for a more European approach to both social and fiscal policy: in particular, a shift from passive social policy measures to a preventive approach based on social investment. Economic policy tools, such as a European minimum wage or a more universal approach to social benefits administration, could help prevent income poverty and social dumping, as well as foster regional investment. In order to cushion the regional consequences of asymmetrical monetary shocks, greater financial capabilities on the part of the EU are needed. This must be complemented by effective measures countering tax evasion practices and corruption. All of this demands a careful rethinking of the EU’s social and economic principles says Dr. Maria Skóra.