On Thursday, April 27, the University of Barcelona in collaboration with the non-profit Making Europe Again hosted the screening of the film “The Great European DistasterMovie” followed by a debate that among other topics, focused on the new challenges for the European Union and its future. 

The apocalyptic scenario painted by the film was thought-provoking and served as a great starting point for the debate that took place after the 90min documentary by Bill Emmott and Annalisa Piras.

The discussion was conducted by Ana Sánchez Cobaleda, researcher and lecturer at the University of Barcelona, and the panel consisted of three distinguished speakers: Prof.Dr. Andreu Olesti Rayo, Professor of International Public Law and International Relations at the University of Barcelona, Ferran Tarradellas, Head of the European Commission Representation in Barcelona, and Carmé Colomina Saló, a journalist and Associate Researcher in CIBOB, with a long experience in European Union affairs.

 The discussion had a duration of, approximately, 90 minutes and the speakers tackled a wide range of subjects. Firstly, they presented the immediate consequences of Brexit and how it can affect both the European Union and Great Britain in the future. Afterwards, Ferran Tarradellas introduced the adverse circumstances that the EU currently has to deal with: unemployment, Brexit, mass immigration, economic problems of peripheral members or young generations’ apathy towards the European Parliament elections; as well as general citizen discontent about European values or the several problems unveiled by the refugee crisis.

These issues are widely known to anyone interested in Europe, and an assessment of said issues would have probably not contributed with anything new. Fortunately, the speakers employed most of the time analysing possible alternatives that could put Europe on the right track again, matching the spirit of MEA’s inner debate. The highlight of the debate came when the speakers offered an in-depth breakdown of the five possible scenarios of how the Union could evolve by 2025, as they were put forward by European Commission´s President, Jean-Claude Juncker in the White Paper on the future of Europe.

Finally, the panel accepted questions from the audience which enriched the debate with its views and doubts. After the event, the general feeling of the room was of conviction that, if European States want to remain relevant in today´s world in terms of economy, political influence and demography, they should support the European Union and be more empathetic with one another. We should go as far as saying that, if someone from the audience was in a quandary before the “make it or break it” dilemma, the “make it” side has scored some serious points!

From time to time we'll share exclusive interview clips (including never-seen-before footage), the most incisive blog posts and the most interesting dispatches from our event organisers as they take the europe debate to the furthest, biggest, smallest, weirdest, most unusual places around europe and beyond.

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Wake Up Europe is a campaign brought to you by the Wake Up Foundation. It was sparked by the themes explored in The Great European Disaster Movie by Annalisa Piras and Bill Emmott.

We believe in the values that inspired the European project but that this project isn't working. Europe is sleep-walking towards disaster. We must wake up Europe so that we can save Europe from itself.

This job is too important to be left to the elites, the media, the political parties alone: ordinary people must be encouraged to discuss what Europe they want to see.

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