Europe: too big to fail?

At 20:00 CET (19:00 GMT/21:00 EET) on Wednesday the 30th March 2016, De Balie hosted Ivan Krastev and Paul Scheffer in a discussion about the EU’s prospects, the feasibility of a potential collapse and its need for reinvention.

This debate took place in De Balie’s premises at 10 Kleine Gartmanplantsoen in Amsterdam and the evening’s proceedings were in English. While the debate is now over, a recording of the evening can be found on this page for all those who were unable to be in Amsterdam for the occasion.

Speakers / Theme / Location / De Balie & the ForumArticles Video

About the debate:

Too big to fail? Too crisis-hardened to go under? How unthinkable is the EU’s disintegration? On March the 30th 2016, De Balie discussed the future of the EU with the Bulgarian political scientist, Ivan Krastev.

Paul Scheffer also made a special guest appearance later in the debate, which looked at post-revolution Ukraine, Russian foreign policy, the actions of the Polish and Hungarian governments, the migrant crisis and the swing to the right in the recent Slovakian elections.

Evaluating all of these both current and recent events, Ivan Krastev and Paul Scheffer analysed Europe’s current democratic crises and shared their thoughts on the union’s future.

Known in the West for his New York Times and Guardian articles, Krastev has posited that now is the time to radically rethink the idea of Europe, while Scheffer has expressed the desire for firmer borders and his concerns about a potential Brexit in outlets such as the Süddeutsche Zeitung, De Tijd and Het Financieele Dagblad

So, what must be done to prevent the idea of Europe from further disintegrating and how should we look to successfully reinvent the EU?


Ivan Krastev Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sophia, Founding Board Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and Permanent Fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna

Paul Scheffer – Professor of European Studies, TIlburg University, The Netherlands

With moderation by Yoeri Albrecht (Director of De Balie).

De Balie and Re:Creating Europe:

This event was organised by the Dutch cultural centre De Balie as part of the build-up to June’s Re:Creating Europe forum in Amsterdam.

About De Balie

De Balie is a well-known platform and a centre for freedom of speech, contemporary art, politics, culture, cinema and media. Situated near to the Leidseplein square in the heart of Amsterdam, De Balie’s [daily] programmes have a consistently analytical character. Through talkshows, cinema, art, debates and theatre, De Balie mixes several points of view in an unpredictable and creative fashion.

Click here to visit De Balie’s own website and find out more.

Re:Creating Europe (1st-3rd June)
On the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd June 2016, artists and thinkers from all over Europe will come together in Amsterdam for Re:Creating Europe, the first edition of the Forum on European Culture. The Forum, a new initiative of DutchCulture and De Balie, will focus on the impact, strength and value of art and culture for Europe.

What are the cultural values that unite us? How can art and culture offer creative solutions for problems which seem to be splitting us apart? And, how can European artists shape the future of Europe?

Click here to visit the Forum’s own website and find out more.



Related Articles:

Eastern Europe’s Compassion Deficit The New York Times

Why Poland is turning away from the West The New York Times

How to avoid Europe’s disintegration Eurozine

Grenzen zu, Augen auf – Süddeutsche Zeitung

The march of Europe’s little TrumpsThe Economist

Brexit zou verschrikkelijk zijnDe Tijd

Es gibt auch ohne Arroganz der Ohnmachtprofil