During the trio EU-presidency in 2010-2011 of Spain, Belgium and Hungary, a common project has been initiated to explore, in a multidisciplinary and open reflection, the emergence of Europe in a context of globalization, deterritorialization and complex cultural dynamics. The reflection about contemporary Europe should rise above the level of issues such as identity, ethnic conflicts, the nation state, religious tolerance and essentialist cultural values. The current reality asks for a focus on interactions in multiple contexts and networks – a focus on Europe as an agora of multiple interactions or Europe as a dynamic and complex system’.
Three major symposia (Barcelona, June 2010 ; Ghent, November 2010 ; Köszeg, May 2011) will capture Europe as an interactive system, as an action instrument for living together. Each symposium will offer an interdisciplinary vision establish a common ground for exploring and navigating the emergent dynamics and complexity of Europe's contemporary society.
A public event (Brussels, November 2011) will discuss the results and proposals for actions with a wider public and propose an opening for a continuity of the reflection and initiatives during the next trio of European presidencies.
With the complexity of today’s society new views are needed which are capable of incorporating all kinds of irregularities, exceptions and disagreement and to understand an endless number of events and unpredictable coincidences. How can the irreducible dynamics, flows and changes inherent in society, be included with a view on active citizenship as an open and fluid form of the social, where individuals are part of society and at the same time, society is present in each individual?
The social complexity in which we live requires us to imagine scenarios for action capable of articulating a common sense of belonging. How do we solve the dilemma of static descriptions and fixed identities with the ever-changing nature of today’s society?
How can complexity theory be useful? Complexity theory allows us to work with an extreme quantity of interactions and interferences between a very large number of individuals, and to unite antagonistic notions to examine the processes, without isolating or reducing.
Europe, for several authors, is a possibility of coexistence as yet untested (Magris) or a variable geometry (De Lucas) or a pioneering experience, a plausible configuration of what could tomorrow be a reconciled humanity (Maalouf).
We need to recognize that Europe is indeed diversity; a multiplicity of identities with their own memories and desires of belonging. What could be ‘the missing link’ that can facilitate the union and also include this myriad of constants and variables, of continuities and breakings?
The seminar will be simultaneous translation