East Forum 2013
EU citizenship, democratic legitimacy and economic union. These are the themes of East Forum 2013, an event being organized by UniCredit together with the international culture, politics and economics magazine "east", to be held on July 11 in Rome in Piazza del Campidoglio.
Now in its eighth year, the East 2013 Forum is being organized this time round in association with the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Europe, suspended between crisis and hope, is preparing for the delicate institutional transition that will culminate in the election of the European Parliament in spring 2014. Having successfully achieved important objectives that Europe's founding fathers established, in terms of peace and development, the European project now faces a critical phase. The global crisis has hit the countries of the EU hard, revealing vulnerabilities and contradictions that must be overcome. It is time for a serious reflection on where Europe is today and which challenges it must tackle over the short and medium term.
It is hoped that East Forum 2013 will make a substantial contribution towards this analysis. With the help of high-profile national and international experts, it will examine key issues for the future of the region in an open debate embracing different attitudes and points of view, with the aim of stimulating discussion and offering possible solutions.
How must Europe change to address current needs? Is the answer to be found in the creation of a European federation of states willing to give up part of their sovereignty in the name of a robust mutual framework, or, rather, in a flexible intergovernmental approach able to respond pragmatically to the challenges of our time? These questions will steer the first panel discussion, moderated by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lapo Pistelli, and will see the participation of former President of the Czech Republic Klaus Vàclav and Euro MEP Guy Verhofstadt.
The second panel will address the topic of European citizenship, and the need to bridge the perceived gap in the democratic legitimacy of European institutions that is often at the root of a growing disaffection with the European project in many member states, and in large parts of civil society. Moderated by Giovanni Moro, these issues will be discussed by MEP Sylvie Goulard, Franco Debenedetti, Giuliano Amato and Director of ECFR Mark Leonard.
The third panel will be dedicated to the major economic challenges that Europe will have to face, the need for political union to be accompanied by fiscal union, and the issue of ever greater market integration. Debating these themes will be Federico Ghizzoni together with Romano Prodi, Dora Bakoyannis, Emma Marcegaglia and Daniel Gros, with Lucrezia Reichlin moderating.
Giuseppe Vita, Chairman of UniCredit, will open the day's proceedings, which will see an introductory report by Emma Bonino, new Minister of Foreign Affairs and former European Commissioner.