Europe After the Pandemic is the title of the Schuman lecture that will be held online this year on Monday 10 May. The speaker, political scientist Ivan Krastev (1965, Bulgaria), has been concerned for years about the growing distrust of European citizens in politicians.
In his 2012 TED talk, Krastev, who chairs the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria, explains how after the latest economic crisis, 89 percent of Europeans felt there was a big gap between citizens and politics. “It's increasingly difficult to understand people who don't think like you. Everyone is in their own bubble on social media”, he says there. “And democracy is all about people who change their mind, based on rational arguments and discussions.”
How will Europe do after the corona crisis? Krastev will elaborate on this on Monday. “This pandemic has amplified certain movements,” he said earlier in a lecture for the NGO Academy. “It's like we were on a normal train going one way and suddenly we're on a fast train, even though the direction hasn't changed.” It makes existing problems visible. “In Bulgaria, for example, we suddenly saw that the average age of our healthcare workers is 50+. For years we talked about changing demographics and the fact that many young doctors and nurses are leaving the country, but now we saw it.”
The lecture starts at 8 p.m., you can register via this link.
The Schuman Lecture, named after the former French Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Schuman (1886-1963), is organized annually by Maastricht University and the Municipality of Maastricht. Schuman was the driving force behind the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, from which the European Union would later grow.