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23rd International WDR Europaforum 2021


A difficult present is obscuring our view of a European future. The goals and principles of the European Union require a commitment that is constantly reaffirmed.

Acting in times of epidemic – Europe in search of self-assertion

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Corona continues to keep Europe firmly in its grip and is challenging the EU countries to mobilize their forces in an unprecedented way. For all of us – the citizens, the individual states, their community – the pandemic is a test, politically, socially, financially. At present, no one can predict with certainty when the epidemic will be brought under control and how much normality – old or new – will be possible. Europe’s immune defences are called upon for the long term.

What this means will be one of the key questions of the 23rd WDR Europaforum. How has the division of tasks between national and European responsibilities worked out in the fight against COVID 19? What about the much-vaunted solidarity in practice? What is the added value of acting together within the EU framework? Only one thing is for sure – Europe cannot afford to deal exclusively with the virus.

Climate change, digitalisation, migration, nationalism, social inequality, great power rivalries escalating – these are major problems that cannot be put off. When it comes to crisis management, the motto “one thing at a time” is out of the question. And the pledge “the better solution is European” applies more than ever – supposing, of course, that Europe is willing and able to act. Therefore, at this year’s WDR Europaforum on May 20, top representatives of German and European politics will discuss “Emancipation in the context of crisis – Europe’s way to more independence”.

Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Südwestrundfunk, Österreichischer Rundfunk and the ARD/ZDF event and documentation channel phoenix, together with the European Commission and the European Parliament, have the pleasure of inviting you to the event, this year in virtual format due to Corona restrictions.

We look forward to having you with us!

Tom Buhrow

Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)

Joachim Knuth

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR)

Kai Gniffke

Südwestrundfunk (SWR)

Alexander Wrabetz

Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF)