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Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and CERiM Conference and Workshops: "Thinking Europe Forward "

The Treaty of Maastricht represents a milestone in the history of European integration. 25 years ago, at the signing ceremony on 7 February 1992 in Maastricht, the Federation of the European Communities, the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs became the three pillars of the newly created European Union. In regard of the numerous and complex challenges that Europe and the European Union are facing today, the Treaty’s contents seem to be more relevant than ever. The decisions taken at Maastricht have triggered crucial policy developments and created new patterns of collaboration that are influencing future “policies and forms of cooperation” between the European states: the introduction of the Euro, the creation of a European citizenship, as well as the further democratization of political decision-making processes by the strengthening of the Parliament and the political parties on the European level.

Particularly through the introduction of a Common Foreign and Security Policy, the Treaty emphasized the Union’s security providing role and opened up new possibilities for inter-state cooperation in external affairs. Today, the High Representative of the European Union carries the notion of a common security and defense project that has been established at Maastricht, further into today’s geopolitical environment, upholding the persistence of Maastricht’s founding principles. Especially with regard to the complex security challenges that our Union of states has to face within and beyond its borders, it is vital to revive the spirit that guided the negotiation of the Treaty and to strengthen the solidarity between the EU’s members.

At present, the European Union and its institutions have to cope with increasingly critical voices that are questioning the Union’s prospects of success. The spread of these often nationalistic attitudes makes it ever more important to remember the roots of the EU and the primary incentives that shaped its foundation in 1992. On this occasion, the European Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung invites political and social representatives, students and European citizens to join a special event on 28 September 2017 in the capital of the Dutch province of Limburg, the historic city of Maastricht. Unlike a classic anniversary, the event aims to critically appreciate the founding date of the European Union and “thinking Maastricht forward”. Against the background of the Union’s founding history, we will jointly develop new approaches and ideas for Europe’s future course in key policy areas such as the Monetary Union, Security and Foreign Affairs, as well as participatory democracy. Policy makers and academic representatives from then and now will face the questions of today’s generation to discuss the basic principles of tomorrow’s Europe. The event will be especially enriched by an exclusive keynote speech on the future challenges for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, held by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The speech is followed by a series of workshops in which students will be asked to conduct research on key themes on European issues. The keynote speech is open to the public but the workshops are closed events. More information and the final program will follow shortly.

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