The crisis of the European Union – limits, values & alternatives


At 19:00 EET on Tuesday the 1st November 2016, Depo held a debate on the crisis within the European Union, looking at how it has come about, what forms it takes and what impact it is having on relationships between both states within the EU and the EU and its neighbours.

This debate took place in Turkish within Depo’s premises at 12 Lüleci Hendek Caddesi, Istanbul. English-subtitled interviews with the speakers and a selection of translated audience questions can now be found in a highlights video on this page. 

Topic / Speakers / Location / Highlights video / Debate series

About the debate:

We are going through an era of global political reconstruction, in which some of the late 20th century’s hegemonic concepts, such as human rights and democracy, suddenly find themselves in crisis. Societies and cultures which perceive themselves as non-Western are challenging both the West itself and the values which are seen to belong to the West. Many of the international mechanisms which were developed after the end of WW2 are now rapidly disintegrating. And, all around the world, nationalist and populist movements seem to be redefining our understanding of what it means to belong to a country.

In this context, the European Union has begun to experience several existential problems, particularly since the global financial crisis of 2008. As the basis for monetary union weakens, political movements in many member states are starting to question the idea of political integration and some of the fundamental principles behind the EU. The UK’s Brexit decision has fostered further discussion around the issue, as have calls for referenda by Marine Le Pen in France and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands. With the populist movements associated with such politicians gaining in momentum throughout Europe, the crisis is deepening, hindering possibilities for comprehensive and constructive public discussions on potential resolutions.

Therefore, the evening's panel aimed to deal with some of the issues particular to this phase of global transformation, asking: Which values connect and divide people living in different regions? What does the development of global opportunities mean for different societal strata? How is the West/East antagonism being redefined throughout the course of this transition? And, how are the recent developments in the EU affecting the Turkey-EU relationship?

To find out more, return to the top of the page, where an English-language highlights video can be found, featuring interviews with the speakers and a selection of audience questions.


Senem Aydın-Düzgit – Political Scientist, Editor and Expert on the relationship between Turkey and the EU, Istanbul Policy Centre and Sabancı University

Evren Balta – Political Scientist & Conflict Researcher, Yıldız Technical University

Debate series:

This debate was organised with the support of the European Parliament within the framework of the Debating nEPwork project. The Debating nEPwork project has been organised by the Time to Talk member The Red House Centre (Sofia) and takes place with the support and local efforts of the further Time to Talk institutions Depo (Istanbul) and Kultura Liberalna (Warsaw).


Although this debate was supported by the European Parliament, it was designed by Depo and they bear all responsibility for the debate’s content.


Depo, Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No:12, 34433 Tophane, Istanbul