Report of the round-table discussion
“Central Europe facing risks: reinventing solidarity?”
Nuit des Idées 2021, CEFRES, IFP, January 28, 2021
On January 28, 2021, CEFRES, in collaboration with the French institute in Prague, held a conference in the presence of the French ambassador to the Czech Republic, Alexis Dutertre, at the occasion of the annual event called Nuit des Idées 2021. This year, the theme was “Close”. The subject of the debate, “Central Europe facing risks: reinventing solidarity?” brought together Thomas Serrier, historian, professor at the University of Lille, co-author (with Etienne François) of Europa. Notre histoire, published by Editions des Arènes in 2017, Michał Kozłowski, philosopher, associate professor at the University of Warsaw, contributor to the Polish edition of the French magazine Le Monde diplomatique and Saša Uhlová, freelance journalist based in Prague. This conference, moderated by Jérôme Heurtaux, director of CEFRES, aimed to identify the challenges facing European countries, particularly in Central Europe, and to think together about ways of confronting and overcoming them by reflecting on renewed, ambitious and inclusive forms of solidarity. In fact, these are multiple: global warming, migratory pressure due to war, poverty and environmental changes, resurgence of nationalism, terrorist phenomenon. While some of them are long-term, others are striking by their novelty: this is the case of the current pandemic and its social, economic and psychological effects. The countries of Europe have always been confronted with crises, but today, for the first time since 1945, there is a sense of accumulation and entanglement.