Debating the Future of Europe

Debating the Future of Europe logo

Columbia Global Centers | Paris is pleased to announce a new collaborative series of debates dedicated to the future of Europe, featuring leading scholars from Columbia and prominent creative writers, intellectuals, and journalists from the European Union.

This impressive series of twelve on-line programs will be broadcast on a monthly basis from October 2020 to March 2021. Each program will be devoted to one of six centrally important questions facing Europe today:

  • How Can Europe Achieve Social Justice?
  • Are Europe and America Drifting Apart?
  • Can the EU Lead the Fight Against Climate Change?
  • Is Europe Democratic?
  • Is There a European Identity?
  • Can Europe Be Sovereign?

The six questions will be explored in two distinct programs each month: the first, an interview in French; the second a moderated discussion in English.

The interviews in French will be conducted by Thierry Grillet, with guests including economist Pierre André Chiappori, philosopher Régis Debray, glaciologist and climatologist Jean Jouzel, editorialist Pierre Haski, and others.

Serving as the Anglophone counterpoint, the moderated discussions will include such scholars as Anu Bradford, Alex Halliday, Mark Lilla, Mark Mazower, Dominique, Reynié, Jack Snyder, Adam Tooze, Laurence Tubiana, Nadia Urbinati, and Andreas Wimmer, among others. 

The "Debating the Future of Europe" series resulted from a new creative partnership between Columbia’s Global Center in Paris, its Alliance Program, its European Institute, and Thierry Grillet, former director of Cultural Affairs at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF).

Co-sponsored by: Columbia Alumni Association,Columbia Maison FrançaiseColumbia University Libraries, the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, the European Legal Studies Center at Columbia Law School, Le Grand Continent, La Maison de l'Europe de Paris, and Sciences Po American Foundation. With additional support from the Erasmus + programme of the European Union and the Advisory Board of the Paris Global Center.

Videos of the debates will be available on the Paris Center's website and YouTube channel.


Speakers session 1

How Can Europe Achieve Social Justice?

In the context of increased concern in Europe and America about inequalities, social exclusion and discrimination, this session will revisit Europe's commitment to promoting social justice.

October 6, 2020: Thierry Grillet interviews economist Pierre André Chiappori (pre-recorded in French). WATCH THE CONVERSATION

October 13, 2020 | 1pm (New York) | 7pm Paris: Join Andreas Wimmer (Columbia), Leila Hadj Abdou (European University Institute), Bruno Palier (Sciences Po) and Turkuler Isiksel (Columbia), in a debate moderated by German journalist Ali Aslan.




Session 2 speakers

Are Europe and America Drifting Apart?

This session will examine the relationship between Europe and America in light of the US presidential election, as well as current developments in the EU's relationships with China and Russia.

November 10, 2020: Thierry Grillet interviews author Benoît Peeters (in French).


November 17, 2020 | 1pm (New York) | 7pm (Paris): Join Célia Belin (Brookings Institute), Sheri Berman (Barnard), Jack Snyder (Columbia SIPA), and Pierre Vimont (former French Ambassador to the U.S.), in a debate moderated by The New York Times’s Roger Cohen.


Speakers, session 3

Can the EU Lead the Fight against Climate Change?

Participants in this session will discuss the European Green Deal: What has been achieved since the launch of the EU Green Deal in December 2019? What is the impact of the Covid crisis on efforts to address climate change? How is the EU partnering with other international actors to fight climate change?

December 8, 2020: Thierry Grillet interviews climatologist Jean Jouzel (pre-recorded in French).

December 15, 2020 | 1pm (New York) | 7pm (Paris): Join Laurence Tubiana (European Climate Foundation), Alex Halliday (Earth Institute, Columbia), Jason Bordoff (Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia), and Enrico Letta (PSIA) in a debate moderated by Adam Tooze (European Institute, Columbia). 

Speakers, event 4

Is Europe Democratic?

Participants in this session will discuss democratic participation in Europe, with a focus on the EU institutions (the so-called "democratic deficit") and on the EU's response to challenges to democracy within member states. 

January 19, 2021: Thierry Grillet interviews Florence Haegel, research director at Sciences Po (pre-recorded in French).

January 26, 2021 | 1pm (New York) | 7pm (Paris): Join Nadia Urbanati (Columbia), Ivan Krastev (Centre for Liberal Strategies), and Rui Tavares (writer, former EU Parliament member), in a debate moderated by Yves Meny (Academia Europaea). 

Europe series speakers, session 5

Is there a European Identity?

This session will explore whether the EU integration process has forged a sense of common identity (culturally and politically) among Europeans. Participants will also discuss how minorities and migrants relate to such an identity.

February 2, 2021: Thierry Grillet interviews writer Kamel Daoud (pre-recorded in French).

February 9, 2021 | 1pm (New York) | 7pm (Paris): Join Mark Lilla (Columbia), Riva Kastoryano (CNRS, Sciences Po), Magali Bessone (Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne), and Deborah Levy (writer), in a debate moderated by Mark Mazower (Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Columbia). 

Europe series speakers, session 6

Can Europe be Sovereign?

Three years ago, President Macron called for "a sovereign, democratic, and united Europe". For her part, Chancellor Merkel emphasized that "Europeans must take their fate into their own hands.” Participants in this session will discuss whether Europeans have made progress towards these goals.

March 2, 2021: Thierry Grillet interviews journalist Pierre Haski, founder of Rue 89 (pre-recorded in French).

March 9, 2021 | 1pm (New York) | 7pm (Paris): Join Anu Bradford (European Legal Studies Center, Columbia), David Goodhart (journalist), Boris Ruge (Munich Security Conference), and Dominique Reynié (Sciences Po), in a debate moderated by Carlo Invernizzi Accetti (City College of New York).