Roundtable: ''Bridging the gap between the EU and its citizens''

On September 12th at 5:00 pm, the Jean Monnet Chair "Bridging the Gap between the EU and its Citizens" concluded with a discussion that delved into the consequences and possibilities for the EU to establish closer connections with its citizens. Distinguished representatives from the realm of political practice participated and exchanged insights, including Thomas Berger, who represented Europe Direct, Peter Schaub from Europa-Union, and Marianne Müller from Pulse of Europe, along with valuable contributions from Muriel Pluschke, a Ph.D candidate of Fulda University of Applied Sciences.For further information and to access the discussion, please click on the link provided below (the discussion is in German).


Roundtable: ''Democracy, citizens and Europe''

On September 12, Claudia Wiesner from Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Virginie van Ingelgom from UC Louvain, and Cecile Robert from Sciences Po Lyon engaged in a discussion regarding citizen democracy and its implications for Europe at Fulda University of Applied Sciences. For further information and to access the discussion, please click on the link provided below.


Roundtable: ''EU students and the EU''

The preliminary findings of the Jean Monnet Network titled "Debating Europe" were unveiled on September 11th at 6:00 pm. The discussion was led by a group of distinguished academics and researchers, including Claudia Wiesner from Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Cecile Robert from Sciences Po Lyon, Willy Beauvallet from Université de Lyon II, Ana Matan from the University of Zagreb, Meta Novak from the University of Ljubljana, Niilo Kauppi and Kim Zilliacus from the University of Helsinki, and Ruzha Smilova from the Centre for Liberal Strategies. For further information and to access the discussion, please click on the link provided below.


The Ukraine War and EU Studies. A Zeitwende?

Roundtable Discussion: Claudia Wiesner (Fulda University of Applied Sciences), Philipp Genschel (Jacobs University Bremen), Doris Wydra (University of Salzburg), Knud-Erik Joergensen (Aarhus University); Chair: Michèle Knodt (TU Darmstadt)

Novembre 3, 2022, Fulda Transfer, Veranstaltungssaal, Eingang 1a, Heinrich-von-Bibra Platz 1a, 36037 Fulda

Wieso, weshalb, wofür? Meine Stimme für den Bundestag

September 20th 2021


On Monday, 20th of September 2021, everyone interested was welcome to hear more about the positions of the Fulda constituency candidates for the German federal election on September 26th. The discussion took place on site campus of Fulda University of Applied Sciences and was broadcasted via live stream. Prof. Dr. Claudia Wiesner moderated the discussion which was organised by Maria Keller and Stefan Rascher. On the podium, Nuha Sharif-Ali (Left), Gianina Zimmermann (Greens), Mario Klotzsche (who replaced Jürgen Lenders, FDP), Birgit Kömpel (SPD), Dagmar Heil (VOLT) and Michael Brand (CDU) debated numerous topics ranging from human rights and foreign policy to digitalisation and housing shortages.

University President Prof. Dr. Karim Khakzar welcomed about 50 guests that were present on campus and about 120 viewers who followed the event via the live stream, giving a short speech. He called for better framework conditions and higher funding for universities of applied sciences from both the federal states as well as the federal government. Then the floor was opened for the discussion among the constituency candidates. They presented their positions in several blocks of questions. The subjects covered included: Fulda and the region, social affairs and business, human rights, democracy, education and research. The panellists had a good two hours to express their views on each topic in short statements and to explain their own ideas and solutions. Before the event, everyone interested had been invited to submit questions – which were then included into the discussion – via an online tool and social media. In addition, the audience had the possibility to ask further questions.

One guest asked which actions the panellists were planning against the increasing radicalisation in society and the social division between urban and rural areas. All panellists agreed on democracy and social cohesion to begin with individuals and their attitudes. In addition, numerous initiatives in the city and region of Fulda aim at strengthening democracy. The question of raising the German minimum wage was a topic that was controversely discussed. The cadidates expressed notable differences in their positions. While the representatives of SPD, Greens, Left and Volt advocated for a fixed minimum wage and a rise to 12 € or 13 €, the representatives of the CDU and FDP argued for a regulation of wages based on collective bargaining. Migration and refugee policy were also discussed intensively. Regarding the latter, Birgit Kömpel (SPD) emphasised that she would welcome Fulda to become a safe haven, and she was going to campaign for the admission of a certain contingent of refugees. The establishment of municipalities as safe havens was also supported by Gianina Zimmermann (Greens), who at the same time called for an immigration law. Mario Klotzsche (FDP) emphasised the need for an EU-wide consensus and the strengthening of legal migration. Similarly, Dagmar Heil (VOLT) pointed out the importance of a European approach and the necessary reform of the Dublin Agreement, as well as the shortage of skilled workers and the positive effects of immigration in this respect. Nuha Sharif-Ali (Left) demanded not to wait for a European solution and make a local decision, and she claimed the need to fight the causes of migration. Michael Brand (CDU) described the difficulties of fighting these causes and advocated the establishment of protection zones under UN control in the countries of origin.

"This discussion round illustrates a core of what democracy is and should be – an open, free and fair debate," said Prof. Dr. Claudia Wiesner. The discussion event was part of the “Debating Democracy in Europe” series of her Jean Monnet Chair. It was also one of the first events organised by the recently established Fulda Centre for Transnational Governance directed by Prof. Wiesner and linked to the Centre for Intercultural and European Studies (CINTEUS). The aim of the Centre of Governance is to promote the exchange between academia and practice via discussion events, lectures and workshops in which international guests and practitioners are involved. In addition, students are regularly given the opportunity to participate in Model United Nations simulations.


The event can be rewatched here: Link (in German)