Topics for the Young Königswinter Conference 2015

1. The EU’s economic and financial outlook

  1. The Eurozone’s stability pact and increasing growth in the EU overall? Will it be possible to live with permanent ‘Euro outs’?
  2. Is the EU not only a partner, but also a player in the world-wide economic competition?
  3. Are Britain and Germany strong enough to act as national partners with China and India or do we need a EU-coordinated approach?
  4. How can we anchor the rules-based international economic order?
  5. How do political actors in the US, the UK and in Germany ‘sell’ TTIP to citizens? What are good reasons to establish a free trade area between the EU and the US? What are public concerns against TTIP and how do they differ in the UK and Germany? How do political elites deal with public concerns regarding TTIP negotiations?

2. EU’s domestic development, Challenges for European integration

  1. The right of EU citizens to live and work in any EU member state is one of the central features of the EU. However, this creates tensions especially when EU citizens from Southern and Eastern member states look for work in Europe’s North. How salient is this issue in the UK and Germany? How do political parties deal with this issue differently in the UK and Germany?
  2. The EU is attractive for asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants: how should the EU respond to these hopes? What is the right balance of national vs European policy on asylum, refugee and immigration policies? Is the current EU approach to dealing with immigrants just and reasonable? How might an EU policy look like that distributes immigrants more just?)
  3. UKIP in the UK and the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) in Germany mobilize against European integration in general and immigration in particular. How does this affect mainstream parties and public opinion in the UK and in Germany? Does this trend affect policies in Brussels? What are policy-strategies to counter the influence of populist xenophobic groups?
  4. What role can Germany and the UK play to combat youth unemployment in the Southern EU member states? Is this a problem that national governments must solve on their own? What are the responsibilities of/ for the UK and Germany when considering youth unemployment from a European perspective?
  5. Germany is now embedded in a system of institutionalized solidarity among Eurozone members (through the European Stability Mechanism) while the UK might even leave the EU altogether. How do these differences matter for the future of European integration? Do we presently face the limits of European integration? And in what areas would more integration still be possible?

3. EU’s foreign policy priorities, Europe facing crisis and conflicts in Europe, Asia and Africa

  1. Where is the Eastern boundary of the European polity? What is Russia’s game-plan? How should Germany and the UK deal with Russia on a political and economic level?
  2. Russia is not anymore member of the G7, and has broken with NATO and the EU: Do we have options to accommodate Putin’s Russia in an order of international law or do we face a new Cold War?
  3. What are key elements for a EU-Ukraine-strategy?
  4. How do you evaluate European efforts to end violence in the Near East? What are the risks and opportunities for the UK and Germany to get or not get involved?
  5. How do you evaluate the relationship of Turkey with the EU in general and the UK/Germany in particular? How does this relationship matter? Is an EU membership for Turkey still on the table?
  6. What should be the European answer to our crisis-plagued neighbour-continent Africa?
  7. How should a ‘European nation’ pursue best its foreign and security policy? What is the right mix between a unilateral and common EU foreign and security policy? Must CFSP mean an agreement/action at 28? What are problems if some EU member states have their own agenda or prefer not to get involved in certain conflicts?