Dome-Talk with Europe-Activists in Vienna

by | 8. October 2017

Vienna, Austria | On 1 October 2017, the European Public Sphere took place in the center of Vienna at Karlsplatz with the Karlskirche as its scenery. The Dome-Talk started after a Pulse of Europe rally, whose comrades-in-arms were invited together with other European activists to talk under the dome.
“We need a very clear political, social, cultural, economic and societal vision of Europe, which does not yet exist but which – if it is to become a reality – must first emerge in our minds and hearts!” This thought was one of the stars that rose during our Dome-Talk in Vienna in front of the Karlskirche-scenery with its impressive dome and its two columns.

For the second event of our double opening we asked the question: “What is going to happen with Europe next? – However, during the conversation, our focus mainly moved to the topic of “direct democracy”.

Many questions arose: Is direct democracy a danger and an instrument that plays into the hands of populism or is it rather a “tool against right-wing extremism”? “Do you have any choice in voting?”

“Democracy is not the same as democracy. And if it has been said that direct-democratic instruments can also lead to a lot of nonsense being decided, then that is true. But this also applies to representative democracy. And if parliaments decide nonsense they can learn from the mistakes. This would also apply to direct democracy but here we do not yet have direct-democratic instruments through which the sovereign can become smarter.”
Peko Baxant

Representative, Vienna Landtag, SPÖ

The time and place of the meeting were chosen in coordination with the “Pulse of Europe” movement, which regularly meets in Vienna for rallies on Karlsplatz.

Nini Tsiklauri, as founder of Pulse of Europe, was invited under the dome in Austria and reported on how this citizens’ movement spontaneously founded itself after Brexit in order to make a positive mark for Europe.

Since the dome was placed very centrally many people were passing by. Those who could not find a spot under the dome followed the lively conversation from its outside. Especially two visitors from Erfurt very much enriched the conversation.

Impressions of a vivid Dome Talk on Karlsplatz in Vienna
“Can Europe come into being without the direct participation of its citizens?” How do you deal with the fact that “emotions come before logic”? What has to be considered for the process of direct democracy so that the democratic will can be decelerated and formed in the prudent aberration of pros and cons?

During this Dome Talk we also wanted to bring together some committed European activists:

Fabian Baumgärtner of the Diem25 movement for a democratization of Europe, Nana Walzer, co-author of the declaration “Europe – The Human Union”, Ines Kanka and Tassilo Seidl-Zellbrugg of IG-EuroVision as well as Daniela Vancic and Caroline Vernaillen of Democracy International.

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Caroline Vernaillen talking to Nini Tskiklauri, founder of Pulse of Europe


Fotos from the Dome Talk in Vienna: