The Citizen's Controversies* series of lunchtime debates seek to address one of Europe’s most vital tasks: rekindling the citizen’s interest in EU matters. Much has been said about the ‘democratic deficit’, which is now felt to seriously hamper EU progress. This deficit, however, does not stem from undemocratic EU institutions, but from a lack of citizen participation in EU democratic life. Less an institutional deficit, therefore, than a citizenship deficit. The Citizen's Controversies strive to encourage citizens’ ownership of the pan-European political debate by securing fair and contrasting views on fundamental EU issues. Each debate confronts different points of view on a given topic to point out options and trade-offs and highlight the political stakes present in each necessary compromise. The objective, in sum, is to enhance the perception of a ‘European common good’, which is more than the sum of national interests.
* The Citizen's Controversies are held under the Chatham House Rule. A report is then published after agreement with the speakers.
Related Events and Reports:
Is Euroscepticism a Blessing? 9 April 2014
With Thomas Klau, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR), and Mats Persson, Director of Open Europe
What Way Ahead for Ukraine? 31 March 2014
With Aude Merlin, Professor of Post-Soviet Studies at the Free University of Brussels (ULV), and Gunnar Wiegand, Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Regional Cooperation and OSCE at the European External Action Service (EEAS)
With John Ryan, Professor of Economics at the St. Edmund's College, University of Cambridge, and Daniel Gros, Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
Avec Marc Tarabella, Membre du Parlement européen, and Faustine Defossez, Senior Policy Officer, European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
With Jackie Morin, Head of Unit for Free Movement of Workers and Coordination of Social Security Schemes, DG EMPL, European Commission, and Yves Pascouau, Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre (EPC)
Financial Services and the TTIP: Why Is the EU Insisting? 28 February 2014
With Martin Merlin, Head of Unit for Financial Services Policy and Relations with the Council, DG MARKT, EU Commission, and Benoit Lallemand, Co-head of Policy Analysis, Finance Watch
Can Europe Afford a Surplus-Seeking Model? 23 January 2014
With Sebastian Dullien, Professor of International Economics at HTW-Berlin, and Jurgen Matthes, Senior Economist at the Cologne Institute for Economic Research
A Cybersecurity Strategy for Europe: What Is Missing? 22 January 2014
With Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament, and Robert Madelin, Director General at DG CONNECT, European Commission
The EU and the Grosse Koalition: Where to Now, Ms. Merkel? 21 January 2014
With Daniela Schwarzer, Head of Division EU Integration at SWP, and Jo Leinen, Member of the European Parliament
With Olivier Guersent, Head of Commissioner Michel Barnier's Cabinet, and Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament
Avec François Heisbourg, Président de l'International Institute for Strategic Studies, et Henri Weber, Membre du Parlement européen
With Leila Fernandez-Stembridge, Economic Analyst at DG ECFIN, European Commission, and Paolo Manasse, Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna
The Shale Gas Race: What Consequences for Europe? 6 December 2013
With Philip Lowe, Director General of the DG Energy, European Commission, and Patrice Geoffron, Professor of Economics at the Université Paris-Dauphine
Beyond Arms Control: What Next for the EU in Syria? 5 December 2013
With Leila Vignal, Lecturer of Geography, University of Rennes-2, and Steven Blockmans, Head of the Foreign Policy Unit, CEPS
Latvia in the Eurozone: a New Cyprus in the Making? 26 November 2013
With Sven Giegold, Member of the European Parliament, and Zsolt Darvas, Senior Research Fellow at Bruegel
Liquid Democracy or Populism 2.0? 13 November 2013
With Amelia Andersdotter, Member of the European Parliament, and Jamie Bartlett, Head of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos UK
With Jo Coelmont, Senior Associate Fellow at Egmont Institute, and Nathalie Errard, head of European and NATO affairs at EADS
Big Data: Where Does Europe Stand? 12 July 2013
With Stéphane Grumbach, Research Director at INRIA-Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, and Roberto Viola, Deputy Director General of the DG Communication, European Commission
With Pascal Liu, Senior Economist in the Trade and Markets Division at FAO, and Roman Herre, Policy Coordinator on EU Agrofuels Policy at FIAN
With Zaki Laïdi, Professor of International Relations at Sciences-Po and Peter Chase, Vice-President of the US Chambre of Commerce to Europe
With Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament and Guido Ravoet, Secretary General of the European Banking Federation
Italy's Last Call to Europe? 18 June 2013
With Roberto Gualtieri, Member of the European Parliament and Andrea Bonanni, Brussels Correspondant for La Repubblica
Peut-on remodeler le capitalisme de marché? 10 juin 2013
With Nicole Dewandre, European Commission, and Bruno Colmant, Royal Academy of Belgium.
With Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation, and Ladislav Miko, Deputy Director General for Food Chain, DG Health and Consumers.
With Judith Sargentini, MEP (Greens), and Andrew Bone, Director for International Relations, De Beers.
With Andrea Renda, Professor of Economic Analysis of Law, LUISS University, and Marc Lebourges, Head of France Telecom's EU Regulatory Affairs.
Avec Jean-Luc Dehaene, Membre du Parlement européen, et Philippe Etienne, Ambassadeur, Représentant Permanent de la France auprès de l'Union européenne.
With Guy Standing, Professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath, and Denis Pennel, Managing Director of Eurociett - European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies.
Debt Mutualisation: Breaking the Taboo? 21 March 2013
With Sylvie Goulard, Member of the European Parliament (ALDE), and Ansgar Belke, Professor of Macroeconomics at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
With Ditte Juul-Joergensen, Director for WTO, legal affairs and trade in goods, European Commission, and Roderick Abbott, Member of the Advisory Board of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE).
Does the EU have an Ambitious Enough Strategy for Outer Space? 25 February 2013
With Kai-Uwe Schrogl, Head of the Policies Department, European Space Agency, and Frank Slijper, Senior Researcher, Transnational Institute.
Is Germany Buying Cheap Discipline? 7 February 2013
With Ronald Janssen, Senior Economic Advisor, European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC), and Ognian Hishow, Senior Associate, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
Does the ESM Need a Bank Licence? 6 February 2012
With Angelo Baglioni, Professor of Microeconomics and Economics of Information at the Catholic University of Milan, and Rolf Strauch, Responsible for Economics and Policy Strategy at the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
With Robert Madelin, Director General of the DG Connect, European Commission, and Christian Engström, Member of the European Parliament (The Greens/European Free Alliance).
A Volcker Rule for Europe? Assessing the Liikanen Report 22 January 2013
With Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament, and Michiel Bijlsma, Director for Finance, Dutch Central Planbureau.
Is Europe Ready for an American Disengagement? 8 January 2013
With Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO, and Sven Biscop, Director, Egmont Institute.
The New European Trade Strategy: Towards a Mercantilist Revival? 11 December 2012
With Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), and Denis Redonnet, Head of Unit, Trade Strategy, DG Trade, European Commission.
With Ambassador Kojiro Shiojiri, Mission of Japan to the European Union, and Philip Lowe, Director General, DG Energy, European Commission.
Can Austerity be Expansionary in Present Europe? 23 November 2012
With Lennart Erixon, Professor of Macroeconomics, University of Stockholm, and Achim Truger, Professor of Economics, Berlin School of Economics and Law.
European Economic Governance: Towards Which Banking Union? 12 November 2012
With Eric De Keuleneer, Professor of Finance, Solvay Business School, and Nicolas Véron, Senior Fellow, Bruegel.
Décrypter le fil rouge de François Hollande 6 novembre 2012
Avec Jacques Mistral, Directeur des Etudes Economiques auprès de l'Institut Français des Relations Internationales (Ifri), et Xavier Timbeau, Directeur du Département Analyse et Prévision au sein de l'Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
Flexicurity Is Dead, Long Live Flexicurity? 22 October 2012
With Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Director for Employment Policies, DG Employment and Social Affairs of the European Commission, and Andranik Tangian, Head of Policy Modelling at the Hans Boeckler Stiftung.
What Went Wrong with the ECB? 11 July 2012
With Cinzia Alcidi, Research Fellow, CEPS, and Philippe Legrain, Principal Adviser and Head of the Analysis Team, BEPA.
With Mario Nava, Director for Financial Institutions, DG MARKT, European Commission, and Dirk Schoenmaker, Dean of the Duisenberg School of Finance.
With Sylvain Plasschaert, Professor Emeritus, Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), and Inès Van Lierde, Chair of the BusinessEurope Trade Defence Instruments' Group.
How to Tackle Rising Inequalities in Europe? 14 June 2012
With Ana Llena-Nozal, Economist, OECD; and Wojtek Kalinowski, Director, Veblen Institute for Economic Reform.
With Paul Magnette, Belgian Minister for Public Enterprises, Scientific Policy and Development Cooperation; and Luke Martell, Professor of Political Sociology, University of Sussex.
With Philip Tod, Senior Administrator, Securities Markets Unit, DG MARKT, European Commission, and Diego Valiante, CEPS Research Fellow and ECMI Head of Research.
With Luuk Van Middelaar, political philosopher and historian, Member of the Cabinet of Herman Van Rompuy and author of the book Passage à l’Europe (Gallimard, 2012); and Yves Bertoncini, Secretary General of Notre Europe and author of the book Politique européenne : Etats, pouvoirs et citoyens de l’UE (Sciences-Po and Dalloz, 2010).
With Odile Renaud-Basso, Deputy Head of Cabinet – Cabinet of the President Herman Van Rompuy, Council of the European Union; and, Jean-Victor Louis, Professor Emeritus, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).
The American and Chinese Views on the Euro Crisis 15 March 2012
With Federico Rampini, La Repubblica's New York Bureau Chief, former columnist and correspondent in Beijing, Stephen Fidler, Head of the Brussels Office of the Wall Street Journal and Xiang Lanxin, Professor in International History and Politics, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva).
La crise de l'eurozone: entre désintégration et fédéralisation 28 February 2012
Avec Michel Aglietta, Professeur d’économie (Université de Paris X) et conseiller scientifique au Centre d’études prospectives et d’informations internationales (CEPII), auteur de « Zone euro : éclatement ou fédération » (Michalon, 2012), et Guillaume Sarlat, Inspecteur des finances et ancien Rapporteur de la Commission sur la dette publique française.
How to Switch from Jobless Growth to Growthless Jobs? 21 February 2012
With Stefano Scarpetta, Head of Employment Analysis and Policy Division (OECD), and Joep Konings, Professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Catholic University of Leuven.
With Fabien Zuleeg, Chief Economist, European Policy Centre, Michael Ralph, Adviser to the Director General, DG REGIO, European Commission and Jorge Nunez Ferrer, Associate Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies.
With Peter Liese, MEP (EPP), Member of the European Parliament's Committee of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, Secretary-General of the Association of European Airlines (AEA).
GMOs: A Fair Case for Subsidiarity? 24 January 2012
With Ladislav Miko, Deputy Director General at DG Health and Consumers, European Commission, and Corinne Lepage, MEP (ALDE) and Member of the European Parliament's Environment, Public health and Food Safety Committee.
With Guido Ravoet, Secretary General of the European Banking Federation, and Jean-Paul Gauzès, MEP (EPP), coordinator whitin the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.
With Jean-Paul Perruche, Director of Studies at the Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'Ecole Militaire (IRSEM) and former Director General of the EU Military Staff, and Philippe Errera, French Permanent Representative to NATO.
With Lars Feld, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Freiburg and Member of the German Council of Economic Experts, and Ann Pettifor, Director of PRIME – Policy Research in Macroeconomic and Fellow at the New Economics Foundation.
Schengen in trouble: Is Europe Still Able to Defend its Acquis? 22 November 2011
With Henrik Nielsen, Head of Unit for Border Management and Return Policy, DG Home Affairs (European Commission), and Sergio Carrera, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs Programme (CEPS).
What Order of Priorities for the Common Fisheries Policy Reform? 9 November 2011
With Lowri Evans, Director General of DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Alain Cadec, Vice-chairman of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee (MEP, EPP).
Towards a Resource Efficient Europe: Any Alternative to Binding Targets? 8 November 2011
With Karl Falkenberg, Director General of DG Environment, European Commission, and Claude Turmes, MEP (Greens/EFA).
With Koos Richelle, Director General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and Olivier Bourgeois, Member of the International Commission of the Indignados Movement.
Towards the End of Tax Competition in Europe? The Test Case of the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base 18 October 2011
With Ludo Vekemans, Adviser-Director at ETUC/SDA, and Theo Keijzer, Chairman of ICC Taxation Commission and Founder of Dorean Tax Policy B.V.. The debate will be chaired by Walter Deffaa, Director General of DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
Une zone euro forte pour un euro fort? 14 October 2011
With Philippe Maystadt, President of the European Investment Bank, and Christian Saint-Etienne, professeur titulaire de la Chaire d'Economie industrielle au Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers.
EU or Eurozone: What Governance for What Model? 12 July 2011
With Pervenche Berès, MEP (S&D), Rapporteur of the Special Committee on the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis, and Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP (EPP).
Le capitalisme a-t-il encore un avenir? 28 June 2011
With Paul Jorion, anthropologist-economist and essayist, and Jean-Jacques Lambin, Professor Emeritus at the Catholic University of Louvain and at the Milano-Bicocca University.
Any Hope of Reconnecting Citizens with the EU in the Post-Lisbon Era? 22 June 2011
With Andrew Duff, MEP, Member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, and Paolo Ponzano, Senior Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence.
L'immigration qualifiée: une fausse réponse à un vrai problème? 25 May 2011
With Csaba Öry, MEP (EPP), Member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and Georges Lemaitre, International Migration Expert, OECD. Moderator: Anaïs Faure Atger, Researcher, CEPS.
Is the Enlargement Success Story Resisting the Crisis? 10 May 2011
With Gilles Lepesant, geographer and Research Fellow at the CNRS and Paweł Świeboda, President of demosEUROPA - Centre for European Strategy.
What Will EU Financial Regulation Actually Deliver? 12 April 2011
With Sharon Bowles, Member of the European Parliament (ALDE), Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and Alexandre Lamfalussy, Economist, former President of the European Monetary Institute.
How Much Gas Does Europe Want from Russia: More, Same or Less? 16 March 2011
With Catherine Locatelli, Research Fellow, CNRS, and Philip Lowe, Director General for Energy, European Commission
What is the Link between Human Rights and Development? The Case of China 3 March 2011
With Jean-Philippe Béja, Research Director at the CNRS/CERI-Sciences-Po (Paris) and Shujie Yao, Director of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham
L'austérité est-elle la meilleure solution à la détérioration des finances publiques? 28 February 2011
With Henri Sterdyniak, Director of the Economics of Globalisation Department, OFCE, and André Sapir, Senior Fellow, Bruegel
The EU/IMF Rescue Packages: An "Attack on Social Europe" or a Necessary Step to Restore Confidence? 23 February 2011
With Philippe de Buck, Secretary General of Business Europe, and John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).Report
Quelles garanties pour l'indépendance des médias? 3 February 2011
With José-Manuel Nobre-Correia, Professor of History and Socio-economy of the Media (ULB) and Robert Madelin, Director General for Information Society and Media, European Commission.Rapport
Estonia in the Eurozone: A Challenge for Both 15 December 2010
With Marek Dabrowski, President of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Warsaw, and György Surányi, Head of Central and Eastern Europe Region, Intesa Sanpaolo Group, former President of the National Bank of Hungary.Report
Is Permanent Structured Cooperation a Workable Way Towards EU Defence? 30 November 2010
With Pieter De Crem, Belgian Minister of Defence, and Lt. General David Leakey, former Director General of the EU Military Staff, Council of the European Union.Report
Quelles perspectives pour la Belgique? Quelles conséquences pour l'Europe? 28 October 2010
With Hugues Dumont, Professor of Constitutional Law, Université Catholique de Louvain; President of the Institute of European Studies, Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, and Marc Reynebeau, journalist and historian, columnist at De Standaard. Moderated by Jean-Pierre Stroobants, Brussels' correspondent for Le Monde.
Can the EU Afford to Be "Post-Modern" in a Multipolar World? 1 July 2010
With Nicole Gnesotto, Professor at the Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers, and Robert Cooper, Director General for External and Political-Military Affairs, Council of the European Union.
La Turquie dans l'Europe: dans l'intérêt de qui? 10 June 2010
With Elie Barnavi, Historian, Scientific Director of the Museum of Europe, and Hélène Flautre, MEP (Greens/ EFA), Chair of the Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.
'Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction' in the Eurozone? The Case for a Ban of CDS Naked Short-Selling 1 June 2010
With David Wright, deputy Director General,DG Internal Market and Services, European Commission, and Roger Cogan, European Policy Director, International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA).
With Philippe Lamberts, MEP (Greens/ EFA), and Olivier Bailly, Head of Unit, Spokespersons' Service, European Commission.
With Stéphane Le Foll, MEP (S&D), and Jorge Núñez Ferrer, Associate Research Fellow, CEPS.
IMF in the Eurozone: last resort or wrong signal? 10 March 2010
With Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times columnist, and André Sapir, Professor of Economics at the ULB and Senior Fellow at Bruegel.
Quelles marges de financement pour l'Europe dans les contraintes budgétaires actuelles? 22 February 2010
With Hervé Jouanjean, Director General for DG Budget, European Commission, and Jean-Luc Dehaene, MEP, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament's Budget Committee.
Is Containment of Protectionism Working? Is it Enough? 17 February 2010
With David O'Sullivan, Director General for Trade, European Commission, and Simon J. Evenett, Professor of International Trade and Economic Development and Director of the Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland
The WTO Ministerial Conference: Was it Worth a Try? 27 January 2010
With Esperanza Durán, Executive Director of AITIC, and Denis Redonnet, Head of Unit for WTO and OCDE cooperation, DG Trade, European Commission.
What's Wrong with Social Democracy in Europe? 22 January 2010
With Ernst Stetter, Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), and Philippe Marlière, Reader in French and European Politics at the University College, London (UCL).
With Huang Huabo, First Secretary General at the Chinese Mission to the EU and Robert Verrue, Director General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunies, European Commission.
With Stefano Manservisi, Director General for Development, European Commission, and Theodore Trefon, Director of the Belgian Reference Centre for Expertise for Central Africa and Head of the Contemporary History Section of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren.
Alternative Funds Regulation: A Wrong Target? 12 November 2009
With Elisa Ferreira, MEP (S&D) and Michael Vercnocke, Head of European Affairs of the City Office in Brussels.
With Piotr Maciej Kaczynski, Research Fellow at CEPS, and Jean-Victor Louis, Honorary Professor at the ULB.
Tackling Offshore Financial Centres: A Challenge for Development? 29 September 2009
With Eva Joly, MEP, Chairwoman of the Committee on Development.
The G20 and the EU : What Room for Manoeuvre for a Divided EU? 23 September 2009
With Nicolas Véron, Research Fellow at Bruegel, and Andrew Watt, Senior Researcher at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).
With Alexandre Lamfalussy, European economist, and Nicolas Véron, Research Fellow at Bruegel.
The Pros and Cons of Reappointing Mr Barroso 7 July 2009
With Véronique de Keyser, MEP, Vice-President of the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, MEP, European People's Party.
With David Rennie, EU correspondent for The Economist, and Jean Quatremer, EU correspondent for Libération.
L'Europe pèsera-t-elle plus dans l'OTAN de demain? 17 June 2009
With Ambassador Benoît d'Aboville, Former French Ambassador to NATO (2002-2005), and Jean-Luc Dehaene, President of the Administrative Council of the College of Europe, Member of the European Parliament.
How to Make Financial Regulation and Economic Governance Consistent within the Eurozone? 10 June 2009
With Daniel Gros, Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).
European Common Bond Issuance: Enough or Too Much? 30 April 2009
With Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times columnist, and Thomas Westphal, Head of the Financial Affairs Unit, Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU.
Patients' Mobility in Europe: An Advance or a Threat? 29 April 2009
With Robert Madelin, Director General of the Health and Consumers DG, European Commission, and Karsten Uno Petersen, Member of the South Denmark Regional Council, Committee of the Regions' rapporteur on the draft directive on cross-border healthcare.
With Prof. Paul De Grauwe, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Dr Feng San, Economic Officer at the Chinese Mission to the EU and Mr David Lippeatt, Chief of Economic Policy Unit, US Mission to the EU.
How to Enhance Energy Security in a Liberalized Market? 12 February 2009
With Jean-Arnold Vinois, Head of Unit, Energy Policy and Security of Supply, DG TREN, European Commission, and Fabio Marchetti, Head of Delegation to the EU, ENI.
Quelle transition vers une société vraiment économe en carbone? 28 January 2009
With Paul Magnette, Belgian Federal Minester of Energy and Climate, and Philippe de Buck, Director General of Business Europe.
What EU Response after the Financial Crisis? 12 November 2008
With Nicolas Véron, Research Fellow and Chief Development Officer of Bruegel, and Francis Wurtz, MEP, Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left.
Social Europe: back or forth? 1 October 2008
With Emmanuel Julien, Deputy Director of the MEDEF's Direction of Labour Relations, to the ones of Philippe Pochet, General Director of ETUI-REHS.
Taking the Irish No for a Question 15 September 2008
With Benoît Hamon, Member of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, and Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, Member of the European Parliament's Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats.