Due to unforeseen circumstances Raphaël Enthoven had to cancel his live appearance 

Ahead of the European elections in May we explore the notion of European citizenship and European identity. Can we speak of a true ‘European people’? And if so, what would be its characteristics? We speak with two thinkers with opposite opinions, from neighbouring countries France and Germany.

The Berlin-based journalist Géraldine Schwarz says that the concept of a European identity is only centered on western countries and excludes the eastern ones. However, the French philosopher Raphaël Enthoven claims that there is no such thing as a ‘European identity’ or ‘a European people’ at all. EU politicians should instead focus on civic values such as solidarity, justice and freedom.

We will look ahead on the outcome of the European elections that are being held between 23-26 May throughout Europe. How important is the notion of a European demos and its heterogeneity or homogeneity for Europe’s future?

This evening is moderated by Anne- Marijn Epker

This programme is part of the continuation of the Forum on European Culture. Forum on European Culture is a biennial forum on the strength, impact and value of art and culture for Europe.
The Forum is an initiative of DutchCulture and De Balie.

This programme has been supported by the European Cultural Foundation.

About the speakers

Géraldine Schwarz is a French-German journalist, author and documentary filmmaker working in Berlin. She contributes regularly to Le Monde, and created several TV documentaries. The Dutch translation of her book Les Amnésiques, ‘De Geheugenlozen’, will be published in May by Atlas Contact. In this book, she pleas for a confrontation with our past, in order to prevent the resurgence of right wing extremism in today’s Europe. Les Amnésiques received the European Book Prize in 2018.

Raphaël Enthoven (VIDEO MESSAGE) is a well-known public philosopher, French professor of philosophy and writer. He published many books, among them Lectures de Proust (2011), about the work of writer Marcel Proust, and Little Brother (2017), which is a collection of essays with philosophical reflections on everyday life. He regurarly speaks out on issues such as European citizenship and identity in French media.

This program is organized in cooperation with the Institut français des Pays-Bas, the Goethe-Institut, and is supported by the European Cultural Foundation.