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Democracies under pressure

Plenary / EU's future
German and English language

Building a democratic, united, and solid Europe is the fundamental goal of European integration. However, anti-democratic tendencies, social discontent, and political disenchantment are challenging cohesion in and between EU member states. What can we do in order to strengthen solidarity in Europe? The discussion will be continued in Breakout Session 7 ‘Civil society and populism’ and 19 ‘The media and populism’.


Co-founder and director, Sofia Platform, Sofia
Director, Center for the Study of Constitutionalism and Democracy, Technische Universität Dresden
Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow and Professor of European Politics, St Antony's College, University of Oxford
Journalist and presenter, SRF - Swiss Radio and Television, Zurich (tbc) Chair


Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow and Professor of European Politics, St Antony's College, University of Oxford

 Jan Zielonka is Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford and Ralf Dahrendorf Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College. His previous appointments included posts at the University of Warsaw, Leiden and the European University Institute in Florence. His work oscillates between the field of international relations, comparative politics and political theory. Zielonka has produced seventeen books including Is the EU doomed? (2014), and Europe as Empire. The Nature of the Enlarged European Union, (2006). His new book - Counter-revolution. Liberal Europe in Retreat will soon be published by Oxford University Press. Zielonka frequently contributes articles for various European newspapers and online journals.

Political Symposium

show timetable


13:30 - 16:30My Europe: How to tell the storyPartner
17:00 - 18:30OpeningPlenary
19:00 - 20:30New perspectives on EU enlargementPlenary
21:30 - 23:30Drink receptionSocial


08:30 - 09:30DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
08:30 - 09:30POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 10:30Alpbach Hike: MindfulnessPartner
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 01: Whoever has the money has the power? The future financing of the EUBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 02: EU-Russia relations: Attempting a cool-headed analysisBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 03: Citizens don’t bite: Experiences and learnings from successful participation projects in EuropeBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 04: European security and the Mediterranean: A simulationBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 05: A world without nukes? The impact of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear WeaponsBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 06: Development dialogues: The Sustainable Development Goals in practiceBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 07: Democracies under pressure: Civil society and populismBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 08: Living the Swiss militia principle: Ensuring resilience through involvementBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 09: Implementing the SDGs: The challenges countries face and the solutions they offerBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 10: European security in the age of hybrid threats: Rethinking military and civilian cooperation?Breakout
14:30 - 15:45Sovereignty in the EU: Who decides?Plenary
16:15 - 17:30Democracies under pressurePlenary
18:00 - 19:00The rule of law under scrutinyPlenary
20:00 - 22:00European-Israeli DinnerSocial


08:30 - 09:30DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
08:30 - 09:30POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 12: Israel: Can democracy exist without peace?Breakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 13: Defending democracy in the digital ageBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 14: The end of oil: Global systems in transitionBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 15: Are you acting or reacting? Countering climate change through new partnershipsBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 16: Culture and identity: What level of adaptation is required for successful integration?Breakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 17: Promoting sustainable developmentBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 19: Democracies under pressure: The media and populismBreakout
14:30 - 15:45Global power shifts: Implications for Europe and AsiaPlenary
16:15 - 17:45European Union - Russia: What to do? (Что делать?)Plenary
18:15 - 19:15The future of the EU: Priorities of the Austrian EU Council presidencyPlenary


09:00 - 10:30The subsidiarity principle under scrutinyPlenary
11:00 - 12:30Global transformations towards a sustainable futurePlenary