New Democracy: Whose Europe Is It?

Democracy in Transition

Solidarity is a hot topic on Europe's political agenda. Many politicians encourage us to show solidarity and embrace diversity. But how can we embrace diversity within Europe and increase solidarity when the core of many social issues in Europe are rooted in a systemically ignored global history extending far beyond European borders? Our colonial history set the stage for power structures and a discourse of inequality, which have remained in place long after the abolition of slavery and the independence of colonized countries.

Europe New Democracy

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In Europe, the colonial period has time and time again been framed as a Golden Age, a time of prosperity and development. In this frame, European countries ignore the dark side, the atrocities, the impact they have had on skewed power structures and existing inequalities today. We must not ignore the past, or merely change the words we use to talk about this past. We have to critically reexamine this past and take responsibility for it to change our perception of Europe today. In this panel debate, we thus aim to view citizenship in the light of history, rather than in the light of man-made borders.

The evening will be introduced by Dutch writer David van Reybrouck (author of Congo), followed up by philosopher Haroon Sheikh and historian Nira Wickramasinghe-Samarasinghe. Our moderator is Wim Manuhutu, historian and heritage specialist.

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