The Problem of Europe

Europe has entered a challenging phase, marked by a critical need for solutions and new ways of thinking. This symposium brought together leading decision makers and scholars to interact and together address The Problem of Europe. It was held on the 31st of October 2016 at the University of Southern Denmark, where it was hosted by SDU Academy for Societal Change, and it marked the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences' celebration of the university's 50th anniversary.

Keynote by

Dani Rodrik
Professor, Harvard University

who was joined in a panel debate by and with input statements from

Benjamin Harris
Chief Economist and Economic Advisor
to the Vice President at the White House

Uffe Østergaard
Professor Emeritus, CBS

Søren Askegaard
Professor, SDU

Stine Bosse
President of the Danish European Movement

Connie Hedegaard
Former EU Commissioner and Chairwoman of KR Foundation and Concito

After addressing The Problem of Europe through a keynote speech, input statements, and a broad panel debate in the morning, the topic was discussed from different angles in the afternoon. This was done through four roundtables on the topics below.

Boundaries and Mobility - Refugee Crisis and Migration

Chaired by Professor Dannie Kjeldgaard, SDU

Mobility and the crossing of boundaries have always been central to the European project, whether mobility of labour, academic exchange or tourism. The positive impact of mobility both within and into Europe, however, is increasingly problematized. This roundtable will discuss the challenges, opportunities, and future scenarios of mobility and migration and how this might affect political, economic, and cultural decision-making.

Reinventing European Social Models - Inequality and Welfare

Chaired by Professor Pieter Vanhuysse, SDU

Welfare states across Europe are under strain as a result of fiscal pressures resulting from slow growth, population aging, high long-term unemployment, globalization, tax competition, and the fear of capital flight. At the same time, and partly as a result, inequalities in income, wealth and life chances are on the rise. This roundtable will discuss ways forward to reform and revitalize the various European social models.

The Business of Europe – Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Sustainability

Chaired by Professor Tage Koed Madsen, SDU

Doing business in Europe is changing. Demographic changes, environmental challenges, the refugee situation, the Brexit, and many other factors create new challenges and constraints but also opportunity for entrepreneurs and SME's as well as for large businesses. This roundtable will discuss how entrepreneurs, firms, regions and nations collectively can create sustainable growth under the changing conditions.

Feeling European? – Contesting Belonging and Membership

Chaired by Associate Professor Christilla Roederer-Rynning, SDU

The relationship between European, national, and local identities has changed immensely since 1993. What does it mean to be European? And how does one, and how and when can one, become European? This roundtable will discuss these and related questions, which have gained renewed urgency in the wake of pressures of migration and problems of integration wide across European nations, as well as the rise of vocal right-wing and left-wing populist political movements in virtually every European country, and the recent Brexit decision.

After the Symposium

See what came out of the symposium.

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Read the full programme for the symposium.

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See some photo highlights from the symposium.

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