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Europa: Vertrauen und Repräsentation

Plenary / Panel
in englischer Sprache


Europe Correspondent, RTE Irish TV and Radio, Brussels Abstract
In June 2008 the Irish electorate rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum. The result sent shock waves through the EU establishment especially since Ireland had been such a longstanding beneficiary of EU funding. In Dublin the political establishment was stunned that a coalition of disparate, and often contradictory forces on the No side, had managed to persuade voters to reject the treaty. Since every political party except one (Sinn Fein) was officially supporting the Treaty, the result appeared a full-blooded rejection of the conventional reassurances of the political parties. In short the bond of trust between voter and politician had been sundered. As we approach the second referendum there is more action on the Yes side coming from non political actors on the basis that politicians still can't be trusted. Where does this voter alienation come from and what dangers does it pose the democratic process? With the UK expenses scandal and the grass roots hysteria against President Obama's healthcare plan as a backdrop, do we need to fundamentally address how both sides of the relationship - political party and voter - involve themselves in keeping democracy going.
Vice President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna; Head and Professor, Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies, Paris-Lodron-University, Salzburg Abstract
Representation and Trust: European Unity and the  Tumeo-Effect
Representation and trust are two deeply intertwined concepts. In the words of Thomas Paine:  all delegated power is trust . The European Union as a democratic polity in the making is no exception to that rule. However, it faces one specific problem that national states seem to have overcome: the Union is still contested as regards the degree and direction of integration. Thus, the question of trust is raised not only in terms of what the Union does (or does not), but also about whether it is entitled to act at all. The European integration process bears on a specific institutional set-up with colliding modes of representation prone to opacity. Whereas citizens appear as encapsulated in their national system of representation their governments continuously act at two levels. Member States governments tend to functionalise the European level to accomplish a political agenda largely ignored by average citizens as it is hardly discussed with them or with their national representatives in parliament. Moreover, citizens do not perceive the European Parliament as an appropriate corrective for these shortcomings. National referenda on the Union s constitutional change have repeatedly produced negative outcomes as one way to voice distrust. Political actors tend to react in shock and then by abhorring referenda thus yielding to what I call the Tumeo-effect. It is a metaphor drawn from the famous novel Il Gattopardo in which Tomasi de Lampedusa described the blunders in the Sicilian referendum on Italian Unity when the No of Don Ciccio Tumeo was cynically absorbed in the lie about a unanimous Yes. By such cynicism the feeling of unity was gambled away. The Treaty of Lisbon does however contain a number of provisions that taken seriously may help to combat the Tumeo-effect.
Director, Directorate A - Strategy, DG Communication, European Commission, Brussels Abstract
Political and social trust is essential to the functioning of society, democracies institutionalize political trust and distrust. Political trust could be established based on emotional or rational choice. Eurobarometer results show that EU institutions are not trusted substantially less now than 5-8 years ago and EU institutions are still trusted far more than national governments. The concept of not trusting the EU is often linked to the idea of democratic deficit. In fact there are many myths and misperceptions regarding the democratic legitimacy of the functioning of the EU that are not supported by evidence or reality. Nevertheless, political trust in the EU may be linked to the notion of European identity which could be further strengthened by common experiences and through improved and new ways of communication with citizens.
Former President of the Republic of Latvia; Vice-Chairperson, EU Reflection Group, Riga Abstract
The optimal functioning of representative democracy requires: 1) the right to elect representatives who will be entrusted to defend the interests of their electors; 2) the citizens faith that their trust will not be betrayed; 3) visible results that prove that their trust has not been misplaced, but has produced results based on common needs and values. The more goals and values converge, the more likely the production of tangible beneficial results, and the greater the satisfaction and psychological bonding among larger numbers of people. The more divergent the aims, goals and ideologies - the more tension, mistrust, dissatisfaction and possible conflict.
President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna Chair


Europe Correspondent, RTE Irish TV and Radio, Brussels

1983-1987 Trinity College, Dublin, Graduated with BA Honors English Literature and Irish
  Reporter Oxford Courier Newspaper
1989-1990 London School of Journalism, Graduated with Diploma (with distinction) in Journalism
1990-1994 Feature writer, Irish Independent, Dublin
1993-1996 Dublin Stringer, United Press International (UPI)
1993-1997 Irish Correspondent Time Magazine, Dublin
1994-2001 TV and Radio Reporter, RTE News, Dublin
2001-2004 Europe Reporter, RTE News, Brussels
 War Reporting: Rwanda (1994), Kosovo (1999), Angola (2000), Pakistan/Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Israel/Gaza (2009)
since 2004 Europe Correspondent, RTE News, Brussels


Vice President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna; Head and Professor, Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies, Paris-Lodron-University, Salzburg

1973-1980 Studium der Germanistik, Romanistik und Philosophie, Universität Wien
1981 Promotion zum Dr.phil. (Dissertation: "Mozart. Ein bürgerlicher Künstler")
1980-1982 Freiberufliche Arbeit als Übersetzerin aus dem Italienischen
1982-1984 Scholarin am Institut für Höhere Studien, Abteilung Politikwissenschaft, Wien
1984 Post-Graduate-Diplom der Politikwissenschaft
1985-1986 Projektarbeit als freiberufliche Politikwissenschaftlerin, Publizistin und Übersetzerin
1986-1987 Generalsekretärin der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Politikwissenschaft
1987-1989 Wissenschaftliche Referentin in der Grünen Parlamentsfraktion für die Bereiche Wissenschafts-, Gesundheits- und Sozialpolitik
1989-1990 Programmkoordinatorin der Grünen und Koautorin der Grünen Leitlinien zu Ökologie-, Sozial- und Demokratiepolitik
1989-1992 Mitglied des Bundesvorstandes der Grünen
1990 Projektarbeit am Institut für Konfliktforschung, Wien
1990-2002 Universitätsdozentin, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universitäten Wien und Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
1991 Visitor im Rahmen des International Visitor Program (USIA) der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika
1991-1993 Austrian Research Fellow am European Centre for Coordination and Documentation in Social Sciences (Vienna Centre) mit dem Schwerpunkt "Umweltpolitik in West- und Osteuropa"
1993-1994 Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Europäischen Zentrum für Wohlfahrtspolitik und Sozialforschung
1993-1995 Redakteurin des Journals für Sozialforschung
1994 Abgeordnete zum Nationalrat der Grünen Fraktion
1991-1996 Arbeit an der Habilitationsschrift (Thema "Die Neuordnung Europas. Das Dispositiv der Integration")
1996 Forschungsaufenthalt am Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung in Köln
1997 Habilitierung an der Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Innsbruck zur Dozentin für Politikwissenschaft
1997/1998 Mitglied der Jury zur Evaluierung der Projekte des TSER-Programmes der Europäischen Kommission (IV. Rahmenprogramm, Second Call)
1995-1998 Mitglied der Hörer- und Sehervertretung des Österreichischen Rundfunks
1997-1999 Vorsitzende der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Politikwissenschaft
1998-2002 Lektorin an der Österreichischen Verwaltungsakademie
1998-2002 Stv. Vorsitzende des Universitätsbeirates der Universität Innsbruck
1998-2004 Leiterin der IWE, Forschungsstelle für institutionellen Wandel und europäische Integration der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
1998-2008 Direktorin des EIF, Institut für europäische Integrationsforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (zuvor Forschungsstelle für institutionellen Wandel und europäische Integration)
1999-2000 Präsidentin des sozialwissenschaftlichen Panels zur Verleihung des René Descartes Preises der Europäischen Kommission
1999-2000 Mitglied des ORF-Kuratoriums
2000-2001 Gastprofessorin am Institut für Sozialwissenschaften der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Lehrstuhl für die vergleichende Analyse politischer Systeme
seit 2002 Universitätsprofessorin für Politische Theorie unter Berücksichtigung der Europäischen Politik an der Universität Salzburg
2003-2011 Vizerektorin der Universität Salzburg
seit 2011 Leiterin und Professorin, Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies, Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg


Director, Directorate A - Strategy, DG Communication, European Commission, Brussels

1981-1987 Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences, Doctorate in Legal and Political Sciences
1982-1986 Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest Faculty of Humanities, MA in Aesthetics
1986-1989 Free lance journalism and research projects in sociology, psychoanalysis and philosophy
1988-1989 Oxford University, UK, Linacre College, Advanced studies in contemporary culture, communication and philosophy (Soros Scholar)
1989-1990 Eötvös Lóránd University / Hungarian Literary History Society, Lecturer in the Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies, Academic Secretary / Advisor
1990-1991 Cambridge University Press, Representative in Hungary
1991-1992 Oxford University, UK, Foreign Service Programme (British Council/FCO Scholarship)
1992-1995 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of European Integration, Legal expert / Political analyst, Preparation of Hungary s application for EU membership, EU institutional reform process
1994 European Commission, DG Communication and Culture, detached from the MFO as "fonctionnaire stagiaire"
1995-2004 Permanent Representation of Hungary to the EU, First Counsellor
2004-2004 Head of Cabinet, Cabinet of Commissioner Péter Balázs, Regional Policy and Institutional Reform, European Commission
2004-2006 Head of Cabinet, Cabinet of Commissioner László Kovács, Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission
since 2006 Director - "Strategy", Directorate A, DG Communication, European Commission


Former President of the Republic of Latvia; Vice-Chairperson, EU Reflection Group, Riga

1965-1998 Professor of Psychology, Univ. de Montréal, Canada
1984-1989 Vice-chair, Science Council of Canada
1998-1999 Director of Latvian Institute, Riga
1999-2007 President of Latvia

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Franz FISCHLER

President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna

1973-1979 Research Assistant, Institute for Agricultural Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
1978 Doctorate, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
1979-1984 Executive Assistant, Provincial Chamber of Agriculture of Tyrol, Innsbruck
1985-1989 Director, Provincial Chamber of Agriculture of Tyrol, Innsbruck
1989-1994 Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Vienna
1995-2004 European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Brussels
2005-2011 Chairman, Ecosocial Forum Europe, Vienna
2005-2015 Chairman, RISE-Foundation, Brussels
2014-2015 Chairman of the Steering Committee of the EU scientific programme for Expo Milano 2015
since 2012 President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna
since 2016 President, Board of Trustees to the Austrian Institute of Advanced Studies (IHS), Vienna

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