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Europe

Be it resolved, the European experiment has failed...

Pro
Niall Ferguson
Josef Joffe
Con
Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Peter Mandelson
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Be it resolved, the European experiment has failed...

In the sweep of human history, the European Union stands out as one of humankind's most ambitious endeavors. It encompasses half a billion people, twenty-seven member states, twenty-three languages and an economy valued at over $15 trillion. Modern Europe's stunning achievements aside, its sovereign debt crisis has shaken the world's largest political and economic union to its core. Can the federal institutions and shared values of Europeans meet the challenges of debt crisis that are as much political as economic? Or, are Europe's current woes indicative of a series of deep structural faults that will doom the European Union to breakup and failure?

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Vote Results

Pro
Con

Pre-debate

44%

38%

Post-debate

45%

55%

CON gains 17%. CON wins

The Debaters

Josef Joffe

"Europe has transcended a thousand years of war, but 27 nation-states will never grow into one."

Josef Joffe

"Europe has transcended a thousand years of war, but 27 nation-states will never grow into one."

Josef Joffe is publisher-editor of the German weekly Die Zeit. He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street JournalNew York TimesWashington PostTIME and Newsweek. In 2007, he was appointed Senior Fellow of Stanford's Institute for International Studies, and has taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the University of Munich. In 2005, he co-founded the foreign policy journal The American Interest in Washington with Zbigniew Brzezinski and Francis Fukuyama.

Joffe’s essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Review of BooksNew York Times Book ReviewTimes Literary SupplementNew York Times Magazine, and New Republic

His second career has been in academia. In 2007, he was appointed Senior Fellow of Stanford’s Institute for International Studies. At Stanford, he is also Courtesy Professor of Political Science and Fellow in International Relations at the Hoover Institution. He has taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the University of Munich.

His most recent book is Ćœberpower: America’s Imperial Temptation (2006, translated into German, French and Chinese). His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, International Security, The American Interest and Foreign Policy,  as well as in professional journals in Germany, Britain and France. He is the author of The Limited Partnership: Europe, the United States and the Burdens of Alliance, The Future of International Politics: The Great Powers; co-author of Eroding Empire: Western Relations With Eastern Europe.

Niall Ferguson

"For more than 10 years, it has been the case that Europe has conducted an experiment in the impossible."

Niall Ferguson

"For more than 10 years, it has been the case that Europe has conducted an experiment in the impossible."

Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of fifteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm. His most recent book, The Square and the Tower, was published in the U.S. in 2018, and was a New York Times bestseller.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit

"We need a true democratic process for the renewal of Europe, in which the European Parliament has to play a central role."

Daniel Cohn-Bendit

"We need a true democratic process for the renewal of Europe, in which the European Parliament has to play a central role."

Daniel Cohn-Bendit first rose to public prominence as a leader of student revolts in France in the 1960s. Half a century later he remains a highly influential voice in Europe serving as the co-president of the Greens/Free European Alliance Group in the European Parliament. He sits on the Parliamentary Committees for Economic and Monetary Affairs and Constitutional Affairs. He is also co-chair of the Spinelli Group, a European parliament group dedicated to the federalist project in Europe.

In 1984 Cohn-Bendit  became a member of the Green party and there was one of the most determined opponents of eco-socialist fundamentalism. In 1999 Cohn-Bendit became the leading candidate of the French Greens (LES VERTS) for the European Parliament. In 2004, he was candidate of the German Greens for the second time, and was leading candidate of the European Green Party which was founded in Rome in February 2004.

He is also a substitute in the Subcommittee on Security and Defence.

Peter Mandelson

"European leaders are getting there and they need to not lose any further time because the world is very impatient."

Peter Mandelson

"European leaders are getting there and they need to not lose any further time because the world is very impatient."

Peter Mandelson is a Member of the House of Lords, and Chairman of Global Counsel, a strategic advisory firm, and Senior Adviser to Lazard.

 Lord Mandelson was elected to Parliament in 1992 and entered British government in 1997, serving as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In 2004, he became EU Commissioner for Trade, until 2008 when he re-entered the British government serving as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills until 2010.

Mandelson was a key figure in New Labour,  and one of the most controversial political figures of his generation. His autobiography, The Third Man, published in 2010, was a Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller for 5 consecutive weeks.