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Political Symposium

How Much InEquality can Europe Bear?


Crises are often said to have lead to deepening European integration. Today, however, national egos are taking growing precedence over the will to reinforce political union. Similarly, in foreign, security or asylum policy, we see only piecemeal and one-sided interventions from single EU Member States, primarily the "big" ones. Faced with this institutional and political inequality, how can we agree on our common goals?

At the Political Symposium, we offer an international platform to debate these and other questions. Participants will exchange their views in twenty interactive breakout sessions addressing the impact of inequality on democracy, European integration and sustainability in order to suggest possibilities for improvement. In the Alpbach Politics Labs, young political leaders will learn about the relevant trends and practices in contemporary politics. In the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group, international experts will attempt to answer the crucial questions in the field of sustainable development in an informal, yet intellectually challenging atmosphere.

Please note: More information on our Alpbach Politics Labs can be found here.

Political Symposium

show timetable


18:00 - 19:30The Grand Bargain of Humanitarian Assistance: How to Mobilise More Aid and Make It More Effective?Partner


11:00 - 12:00Genocide: Terminology, Dimension, PreventionPartner
14:00 - 16:00OpeningPlenary
16:30 - 18:00Muddling Through or Starting Anew?Plenary
18:30 - 20:00Maintaining Peace and Security in Times of Growing InstabilityPlenary
19:30 - 21:00Focusing on Security PolicyPartner
20:00 - 22:00ReceptionSocial
22:00 - 23:30Young Talents - Los ColoradosCulture


08:00 - 09:00Breakfast ClubBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 01: Success! The Do's and Don'ts of Changemaking in EuropeBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 02: Wartime Journalism: The Case of UkraineBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 03: Losing Out: Paths to Radicalism?Breakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 04: Austria in the EU: 20 Years of Experiences and ExpectationsBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 05: Eradication of Energy Poverty: A Key to Reducing InequalityBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 06: New Paradigms for European SecurityBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 07: Does the EU Drive (In-)Equality?Breakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 08: Inequality of Outcome and Inequality of Opportunity: Two Incompatible Sides of the Same Coin?Breakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 09: Interoperability in Humanitarian Operations: From Coexistence to CooperationBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 10: Young Refugees in Europe: Missed Opportunities - Future Chances?Breakout
12:00 - 13:30Lunch ReceptionSocial
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 11: Inclusiveness: The Key to Sustained ProsperityBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 12: Authoritarianism on the Rise: A New Global Competitor for DemocracyBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 13: The Unequal State: How Inequality Blocks Society's Creativity and How to Achieve Radical ChangeBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 14: Integrating People | Knowledge | Potential: Recognition of Migrant's SkillsBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 15: The EU Member States: Giants, Dwarfs and Those in Between?Breakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 16: Towards More Union in European DefenceBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 17: How to Make TTIP Inclusive for All? Towards a Fair World Trade OrderBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 18: Sustainable Development Goals: Why Should Europe Care?Breakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 19: The Inequality of Climate ChangeBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 20: Games Politicians Should PlayBreakout
17:00 - 18:30Dead-End Europe? Asylum and Refugee Policy in FocusPlenary
19:00 - 20:30The EU and Russia: Rivals, Opponents, Partners?Plenary
21:00 - 22:30CANCELED - Late Night Talk: Islam, "Islamic State" and ViolencePlenary


09:00 - 09:30InDignityPlenary
09:30 - 10:15Existential RisksPlenary
10:45 - 12:15Sustainable Development Goals: From Aspirations to RealityPlenary
12:15 - 12:30Concluding RemarksPlenary

Scientific Partner

Supporting Partner

Media Partner

As Well As

Principal Partners European Forum Alpbach 2015

  • Tirol
  • Österreichische Lotterien
  • BMW

Event Partners

  • Austrian
  • Postbus
  • Lenzing Papier
  • Xerox
  • NEC
  • APA
  • Ö1