The conference European Values, Member States and the Future of the EU will be held in Zagreb, on 5 and 6 December 2019, organized by Centre for Democracy and Law Miko Tripalo. The conference is a part of Jean Monnet project European Values in a New Member State: Croatia in the First Five Years of EU Membership. The aim of the project is to better understand the European values as the fundamental element of the European integration process and European project as a whole. This two-day conference will bring together researchers and experts who deal with European values in different areas, from political science, sociology, history, law, economics and philosophy, to those who explore values in an interdisciplinary manner.

The goal of the conference is to publicly discuss European values in the context of the future of the European Union and the perception among member states of belonging to a common European idea. Through  their presentations, conference participants will examine the role European values play in different member states („new“ and „old“), but also their role in re-evaluation and reaffirmation of the European project.

The programe of the conference will include four panels:

PANEL 1: Freedom
This panel will focus on theorizing and analyzing freedom, as a fundamental concept in political theory and the most important notion in modern liberal democracies. The panel will address the idea of Europe as a space of freedom, as well as contemporary views of Fortress Europe, nation-state backlash against “too much freedom”, and the rise of populists forces and their impact on preserving freedom as the objective of European integration.

PANEL 2: Solidarity
This panel will focus on the understanding of the European Union as a solidarity project. From sociological, political and economic perspectives, the panelists will provide possible answers to what are the repercussions of solidarity policies. Also, they will examine whether the narrative of solidarity can become the main element of divergence in the European Union. This is quite important with regard to the social pillar as a new EU policy in strengthening solidarity.

PANEL 3: Justice and Rule of Law
Experts in this panel will try to answer the question how successful is the European Union in changing the legal culture in its member states. They will also address the question of the success or failure of conditionality principle and the Europeization narrative, which were introduced to establish the rule of law as a European value. Lately, the two have been losing importance in many EU member states.

PANEL 4: Participation
This panel should answer perhaps the most crucial question: how to maintain a multicultural, multinational democratic political system, founded on ideas of freedom, solidarity and rule of law, at a time of rapid decline of citizen participation in political activities of any kind, including voting. Will the political apathy of European demoi prove to be the spark for the dissolution or the evolution of the European Union?