#EUROPEANTOWNHALL POLAND ANALYSIS OPINION

Second #EuropeanTownHall Meeting in Warsaw: Thoughts on the Future of Democracy

Conclusions by Laura Krause, Maciej Gdula, Paul Mason and Manuel Sarrazin




Where does the demand for populist platforms come from? How to respond to the crisis of democracy? Laura-Kristine Krause, Maciej Gdula, Paul Mason and Manuel Sarrazin present their views on the present state of and the future of democracy in Europe.


Currently, the future of the European Union is at stake due to many disintegrative developments: rising populist tendencies or persisting political disaffection. Meanwhile, sustainable solutions can only be achieved with the support of a strong and well-connected European civil society. Addressing this issue, Das Progressive Zentrum launched a project called “DIALOGUE ON EUROPE – Rebuilding trust and redefining Europe in tough times” in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office: a two-year trans-national dialogue process with promising thinkers and activists from around Europe. Seven Town Hall Meetings were subsequently held in Athens, Lisbon, Rome, Marseilles, Madrid, Warsaw, and London.

Inspired by these events, Das Progressive Zentrum together with its Polish partner, the Ferdinand Lassalle Centre for Social Thought, hosted the second Polish-German #EuropeanTownHall Meeting in Warsaw on 12 February 2018. Academics, the media, and civil society actors from Germany and Poland joined thematic workshops to discuss the risks and opportunities for the development of democracy in Europe.

Conference Overview

The event focused on the state of democracy today: dealing with populism and developing democratic innovations. Where does the demand for populist platforms come from? How to respond to the crisis of democracy? In this publication, you will find the major conclusions collected by the main speakers: Laura-Kristine Krause, Head of the Program “Future of Democracy”, Das Progressive Zentrum; Maciej Gdula, Assistant Professor, Institute of Sociology, the University of Warsaw; Paul Mason, British Journalist and Author of “Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions” (2012), “PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future” (2015), and the special guest, Manuel Sarrazin, Member of the German Bundestag.

The report is available in three languages: English, German, and Polish.

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About the DIALOGUE ON EUROPE  in Poland

In 2016, Das Progressive Zentrum added Poland as a further project country to the #DialogueonEurope process. On December 7, 2016, the first bilateral Town Hall Meeting took place in Warsaw. High-ranking academics and civil society actors, as well as young people involved in culture and arts from Germany and Poland, were invited to take part in an open discussion about the Future of Europe with Michael Roth, German Minister of State for Europe. In 2018, the Polish-German exchange continued, this time focusing on the Future of Democracy.

Both events were supported by The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and the German Federal Foreign Office.