At this year's European Consortium for Political Research in Hamburg, Edma Ajanovic and Ulrike organized a panel dealing with the concept of citizenship in a European Republic. Among others, Elisabeth Donat and Fabian Elbaky presented the results of their latest study - Towards a New European Narrative.
The current debate about the crisis of the European Union and/or the European continent has induced a variety of scenarios about Europe’s future. Most prominent and heavily discussed are Jean Claude Juncker’s five scenarios about more or less integration in the European Union. Even more controversial are ideas of a different Europe as suggested by, amongst others, Ulrike Guérot’s recent publications on the concept of a “European Republic.” Labelled utopian by some, it has equally been perceived as a realistic “exit strategy” from the simplistic more or less paradigm. By today, we have driven into a situation, where multiple crises seem to constitute and represent the status quo when discussing European politics. Hence, our aim is to go beyond a hierarchically organised debate about the European integration process.
Our panel addressed the concept of a “European Republic” and was focusing on the citizens’ perspective: What would it mean to be a citizen of the “European Republic”? Could we expect approval of European citizens for such a political and societal system? Which opportunities and responsibilities can be expected for citizen’s daily life in a “European Republic”? Which duties and rights can citizens of a “European Republic” expect? Will the so-called “civil society” change under a new paradigm of a common European Republicanism? Which changes can be expected in the sector of the social welfare state? Which challenges will the educational sector face? What would it mean to the European Youth to be a citizen of a “European Republic”, and how is citizenship in a “European Republic” perceived from “outside”: as a precious and desirable good or as an arbitrary label? Are there any lessons learned about organizing the life of citizens in a “European Republic” from “outside” (non-European continents)? Which enemies (literary in terms of attitudes and values and manifest in terms of groups) could citizens of a European Republic face?
The panel invited speakers who were focusing on the above questions from various perspectives by addressing social, economic, political and legal challenges of a potential fundamental reorganization of the European Community in terms of Republicanism. All Contributions, focus on the current situation of the European Union/European continent (status quo and pre-conditions of a European Republic), or analyse one or many of the several sub-dimensions of a prospective European Republic from a citizen’s perspective. The research questions of this panel also allowed interdisciplinary contributions, which we strongly encourage. We also encouraged young scientists to submit proposals and those taking care for transdisciplinary perspectives.