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What would You Change?

What is your vision and narrative for Europe? If you were one of the policy-makers, what would you change? We invite all scholarship holders to apply for a seat on stage at the Alpbach Political Symposium on Sunday, August 24, 2014.

European citizens increasingly associate the EU with keywords like “rescue packages”, “transfer payments” and “welfare tourism”. These keywords do not only evoke dissatisfaction, but they also reinforce a defensive attitude when it comes to solidarity. They imply that the EU is something given and exclusive rather than an inclusive process. They lack a pioneering spirit that addresses current problems such as youth unemployment and massive state deficits, fosters solidarity and underlines the potentials of a united Europe.

However, only if policy-makers give answers to salient questions offering a perspective for everyone and leaving no-one behind can a positive narrative evolve. While policy-makers may thus provide a framework for a new narrative, it can only become meaningful and subsequently powerful if citizens participate in its development in a democratic process.

How can policy-makers initiate change and show that the EU can be a win-win situation? How can citizens rebuild Europe’s foundations after more than 60 years of integration history? What is your vision and narrative for Europe? If you were one of the policy-makers, what would you change?

Application Criteria
Please submit a concept note and note that you will have to be available for the different steps of the application process during the Alpbach Seminar Week (August 13-19) and the Alpbach Political Symposium (August 24-26). The concept note should be part of your application to the scholarship programme of the European Forum Alpbach.

Application Procedure

Round 1) Put your thoughts to paper
(until April 14, 2014)
Please submit a one-page concept note in English until April 14, 2014. The concept note should address the questions above (under “What would you change?“). It is up to you to decide whether you want to do this in form of a short essay or in another way. We want to hear your story and your vision for Europe. The Advisory Committee of the Alpbach Political Symposium reviews all applications and nominates the best candidates, who can then participate at the elevator pitch in Alpbach.

Round 2) The elevator pitch – A race against time. A race against the others.
(during the Alpbach Seminar Week, August 13-19, 2014)
After the advisory committee’s nomination, selected candidates will present their visions in a concise but informative manner. All presentations will be held in English. The participants of the Alpbach Seminar Week will vote for the best presenters and nominate them for the debating round.

Round 3) Debate!
(during the Alpbach Seminar Week, August 13-19, 2014)
The finalists will debate their thoughts and visions for Europe in a discussion chaired by one of the Members of the Board of the European Forum Alpbach. In this final round, the audience and the Members of the Board decide who gets a plenary spot at the Alpbach Political Symposium. The debate will be in English without translation.

Plenary session during the Alpbach Political Symposium
(The European Union in Search of a New Narrative, Sunday, August 24, 2014, 16:00-17:30)
At the Political Symposium, you will have the opportunity to share and discuss your vision for Europe with other “young” and “old” Europeans from different fields at a plenary session.