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The Europe of the EU is currently in a state of crisis. This is not one clearly defined crisis, however, but an amorphous conglomeration of elements of crisis, ranging from financial and economic to political crisis. Trust in the EU from within and without is declining. Unemployment, extremism, populism, austerity measures and constitutional crises are all part of the story. This battery of phenomena, whose interactions are hard to define, was discussed in the Palais in August 2013 by a prominent trio: Dr. Othmar Karas (Vice-President of the European Parliament), Professor Sonja Puntscher-Riekmann (Vice-President of European Forum Alpbach) and Dr. Herbert Dorfmann (South Tyrolean Member of the European Parliament).



  • Dr. Othmar Karas was rapporteur for various EP reports concerning banking regulation. Dealing with how to confront the economic crisis he gained an excellent reputation accross party lines. Infomation can be found on his website. Othmar Karas is next to Johannes Voggenhuber and Herbert Bösch speaker of the Bürgerforum Europa 2020.
  • More information on Professor Sonja Puntscher-Riekmann, the impressively eloquent Grande Dame of Austrian political science, is available on her website at the university of Salzburg.
  • Herbert Dorfmann is since the 2009 elections a member in the European Parliament where he sits amongst others in the Committee resonsible for agriculture. He is also actively involved in the protection of minorities at the EU level. 
  • The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) dealt with similar aspects in its report "The European Union as a Community of values: safeguarding fundamental rights in times of crisis".
  • A related TV-interview on the FRA and its work  can be found here (in German).
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