At the discretion of the long-time member of the European Parliament Tunne Kelam MdEP, Pro Patria Institute, the Robert Schuman Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the international conference was held in the centre of Tallinn, Estonia on 8 February 2013.
The discussion was related to challenges of Europe's financial and economic crisis and its influence on the European integration and to the future of the European Union. However, the discussion was regarded to United Europe as well. The experts from more than seven countries came to the European Capital of Culture 2011 to exchange their views on essential topics.
The Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the former President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering MEP, gave approval to the development of Estonia in his contribution. It is good example, because at least Estonia has always shown the solidarity towards other members of the European Union. Pöttering brought attention to the fact that Europe may only succeed if the actions are based on the common fundamental values. Besides the concept of the social market economy, he emphasized the principle of subsidiarity ("Homeland - Nation - Europe").
Tunne Kelam MEP introduced the possible roots of the European unification in his speech. "A creative minority of practicing Christians, Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi, helped Europe out of its post-war crisis by proposing a way forward based on biblical principles. They believed that democracy was either Christian, or it would become non-existent".
The noteworthy panel discussion involved more than 100 participants. The Estonian Minister of Defense and the Chairman of the party "Isamaa yes Res Publica Liit" Urmas Reinsalu, the Dutchman Jeff Fountain, the Chairman of the Hope for Europe Round Table, the President of the "Venice International University", the former Ambassador Umberto Vattani and the entrepreneur and President of the World Security Network Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann hold a speech on the relevant topic "Finding the Soul of Europe".
Reflections on the Soul of Europe in the society were made by assistance of the Evangelical Lutheran Archbishop of Estonia Andres Põder, the Head of Cabinet of the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of transport Henrik Hololei as well as the Head of Research of the Centre for European Studies Roland Freudenstein.
The third part of the panel discussion was devoted to resume of the different points of view. In addition, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Estonia, the Most Rev Phillipe Jourdan, Estonian Minister of Education and Research Jaak Aaviksoo, the Director of the Estonian Institute for Population Studies in Tallinn University Luule Sakkeus and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Social Affairs Committee Margus Tsahkna expressed their opinion.
Finally, Hubertus Hoffmann made the analysis and gave the perspective of the future: in addition to discussing the fiscal challenges, Europe needs a "spirit of makers". Not just words, but concrete plans and actions are needed in the EU and nation-states now. This must be the guideline to save, rediscover and strengthen the "Soul of Europe". At the same time, the small European countries, which had the positive experience, should continue their benefit. It is time them the responsibility to take over leadership for the EU. Estonia should take over the lead for the reform process in Greece. Poland could help Portugal, Latvia may support Cyprus.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE "SOUL OF EUROPE"
Pro Patria Institute, Robert Schuman Foundation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. and
the Office of MEP Tunne Kelam
Friday, 08 February 2013
in the conference hall of Nordic Hotel Forum (Viru väljak 3, Tallinn)
"A creative minority of practising Christians, Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi, helped Europe out of its post-war crisis by proposing a way forward based on biblical principles. They believed that democracy was either Christian, or it would become non-existent."
10:00-10:30 Opening of the conference
Tunne KELAM MEP, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Estonia)
Thomas SCHNEIDER, Head of Estonia Office and EU - Russia Dialogue of the Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung e. V. (Germany)
10:30-11:00 Values, Politics and Economy - an European approach
Dr. Hans-Gert PÖTTERING MEP, Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V. and former President of the European Parliament (Germany)
11:00-12:30 Finding the Soul of Europe - chaired by Tunne KELAM MEP (Estonia)
TWENTY YEARS have passed since Jacques Delors, as President of the European Commission, warned that if a soul for Europe-‘spirituality and meaning'-could not be found within the next decade, the game would be up. The possible futures for Europe? Can the past still offer options for the future?
Urmas REINSALU, Minister of Defence of Estonia, Chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL)
Jeff FOUNTAIN, director of the Schuman Centre for European Studies (the Netherlands)
Dr. Hubertus HOFFMANN, president of the World Security Network (WSN)
Ambassador Umberto VATTANI, president of Venice International University (VIU) (Italy)
12:30-13:00 Light Lunch
13:00-14:30 Reflections on the Soul of Europe in the society - chaired by Prof. Ülle MADISE,
University of Tartu (Estonia)
How to find the soul of Europe? Should the task be left to politicians? Who can articulate spirituality of unity with diversity, and meaning transcending mere material prosperity?
Andres PÕDER, Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia
Henrik HOLOLEI, Head of Cabinet of the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of transport (Estonia)
Roland FREUDENSTEIN, Head of Research, Centre for European Studies (CES) (Germany)
14:30-15:00 Coffee break
15:00-16:30 Soul of Europe in different spheres - chaired by Evelyn KALDOJA, journalist "Postimees" (Estonia)
Europe and Christian values in Education - Jaak AAVIKSOO, Minister of Education and Research of Estonia
Individualism and collectivism - Philippe JOURDAN, The Roman Catholic Bishop for Estonia
The ageing Europe - Luule SAKKEUS, Director Estonian Institute for Population Studies, Tallinn University (Estonia)
Challenges for ageing Europe - Margus TSAHKNA MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Social Affairs Committee (Estonia)
From selfish consumerism back to the soft values - Prof. AntonGiulio DE´ROBERTIS, founding secretary general De Gasperi Foundation, University of Bari (Italy)
16:30-16:40 Conclusions - Trivimi VELLISTE, Chairman of the Pro Patria Institute and former Minister of Foreign Affairs
16:45 Reception in the in the conference hall of Nordic Hotel Forum
Working languages: Estonian and English, simultaneous translation.