In 2009, the word trust once more has an optimistic ring to it. Above all, the shift in US-politics which by some has been called a sea change, has restored confidence in many respects: be it questions of security and economic policy, or a new lease on life for a great variety of international cooperation projects.
At the same time, Europe is clearly in the spotlight this year: the parliamentary elections will bring with it new decisions and new structures. New faces will move into the European Parliament and into the Commission; equally, there will be new and, possibly, unexpected answers to the question where the European Project can and will head in the futrire: Will the citizens of the nation-states one day see themselves as one European People? Will they trust in European Politicians capability of representing their interests, and endow them with a strong mandate? And how can deeply rooted political and cultural conflicts finally be settled across the continent. These questions, amongst others, will provide the basis for discussion with high-ranking international experts at the Alpbach Political Symposium 2009.