The Belfast Debate on Europe will gather leading writers, experts, public intellectuals and representatives of civil society from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Great Britain as well as mainland Europe, especially from the German-language realm and Central and Eastern Europe.
In speeches, panel discussions and literary readings, themes of borders, conflict and community will be explored from both the local and a broader European perspective.
In the wake of the political drama surrounding Brexit, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has become headline news. But while the “backstop” has been a crucial part of the Brexit negotiations, the EU demand that the border between the North and the South will remain “invisible” has largely been discussed without historical background or context.
By making the European dimension of the Northern Irish issue visible and discuss this regional conflict in the context of similar divisions elsewhere, for example in the Balkans, the Belfast Debate on Europe will not only bring new perspectives into the local debate but also contribute to a truly transnational exchange about the future of Europe across borders and other dividing lines.