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Prague and Berlin on a New EU Course? The EU policy of the Czech Republic and Germany after their respective parliamentary elections

The Prague Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Institute of International Relations and EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy have the pleasure to invite you to an expert round table „Prague and Berlin on a New EU Course? The EU policy of the Czech Republic and Germany after their respective parliamentary elections“.

30. 10. 2013 (9:00)

This content is not up to date Institute of International Relations in Prague, Nerudova 3, Prague 1

In September and October 2013, respectively, German and Czech citizens elected new parliaments. While German voters expressed their support for Chancellor Merkel, the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) fell short of an absolute majority in the Bundestag and will need to build a new coalition, as their former coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), failed to overcome the five per cent threshold. The formation of the new government has not yet been finalised. However, for the time being a grand coalition seems the most likely scenario. The coalition negotiations started on 23 October. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) as the possible coalition partner favours a different approach to the EU financial and economic crisis than that pursued by Merkel in recent years.

In the Czech Republic, issues of EU policy have not really been a topic of debate in the election campaign thus far, due to a deep political crisis which has dragged on for months. As a result, there has not been a wider debate on the question of what European solidarity means in the context of the EU financial and economic crisis. Ten years after the EU's 2004 enlargement, only a handful of Czech politicians have addressed the question of how the Czech Republic could or should contribute constructively to the future of the European project.

Will the outcomes of the elections have an impact on how the future of the EU is debated in the respective countries? What concepts of the EU's future will the new German and Czech governments promote? How will opposition parties position themselves? What are the implications for Czech-German relations? What roles could and should Germany and the Czech Republic play within the EU? Will there be scope for greater alignment between Prague and Berlin following the elections? And, last not least, ahead of the EP elections in 2014, what are the chances of opening a committed and truly European debate about our shared future?

The speakers at the conference will be:
Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament (The Greens/European Free Alliance)
Vladimír Handl, Institute of International Relations Prague
Petr Janoušek, journalist
David Král, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

Vladimír Bartovic, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

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Heinrich Böll Foundation and EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

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