The Barcelona debate: old Europe, new utopias

Between the 6th February and the 13th March 2017, CCCB hosted a debate series which analysed the perception of Europe as a both conceptually and demographically ageing entity and asked where we should look for new ideas..

This series of discussions has now come to an end, but recordings of all of the English-language discussions can be accessed on via the links below.

Series / RecordingsAttendance / Organisers & sponsors

Horvat and Mircea

Mircea Horvat

Click on the speaker to go straight to the debate recording

About the series:

Europe, it is often said, is a tired continent. Lacking inspiration, it can seem to be incapable of responding to contemporary threats, with challenges such as shrivelling welfare states, the return of authoritarianism and xenophobia growing and support for core values like solidarity, justice and respect for human rights apparently fading. A continent which once produced great utopias now seems unable to even imagine a promise for the future.

This perception of a lethargic, old Europe which is short on ideas is strengthened by demographic projections of an ageing population, with the elderly often being blamed for the continent’s conservative turn. Yet, wasn’t precisely these elderly individuals who forged the European dream? Weren’t they the protagonists of the great struggles for our social and labour rights, the ones who believed in the modern promises of peace, welfare and democracy? With their dreams fading, what lessons from the past might hold the keys for building new utopias? Where does Europe’s heart beat today and where are its new vanguards?

This series sought to give voice to those who promote other narratives, remember other histories and decentralise a territory which has become unrecognisable. Will other Europes, those residing in the continent’s geographic, political and symbolic margins, be the ones to propose new utopias and to breathe new life into the old continent?

The CCCB wishes to dedicate this edition of the Barcelona Debate to the memory of Zygmunt Bauman, inspirational defender of the unfinished European adventure.

Events & recordings:

Click on the event titles to find out more about each individual event and, where a video is mentioned, to watch their recordings.

Europe in my mind
(6th February 2017 – video online!)
with Mircea Cartarescu

War or utopia
(13th February 2017 – video online!)
with Srećko Horvat

Democracy’s old future
(20th February 2017 – in Spanish)
with Pedro Olalla

Democratising the media, saving Europe from populism
(27th February 2017 – in French)
with Julia Cagé

The cost of fear
(13th March 2017 – in French)
with Hakan Günday


All events are free entry and will take place within CCCB’s premises in Barcelona (Montalegre, 5 – 08001 Barcelona). Unless another language is explicitly mentioned in the event description (see above), the language of the discussions will be English, preceded by an introduction in Catalan.

Organisers and sponsors:

Organised by


With the help of
Alma  Catedral  Institut Francais   Periscopi

And, with the support of