The goal of the symposium is to rethink the idea of Europe. The geopolitical, international, cultural, and mental changes of the recent decades make it a pressing issue to ask again, what do we mean when we say ‘Europe’.

In 1950 the Schumann Declaration announced: “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.” The European Union was born as a project to ensure peace by means of economic collaboration. During the subsequent 70 years this task was modified and challenged. The current war in Europe and about Europe adds new urgency to the question of Europe, its identity, its scope, and its role. The questions of resilience, robustness, and values demand an urgent answer.

The symposium will invite European intellectuals to attempt to answer some, if not all, of these questions.

Symposium is held under the patronage of H.E. President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda.

Symposium is organized by Vytautas Magnus University.

Symposium is part of “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” program.


25 November, 2022





Rector of Vytautas Magnus University prof. Juozas Augutis

H.E. President of the Republic of Lithuania Mr. Gitanas Nausėda

H.E. President of the European Commission Ms. Ursula von der Leyen (video address)

H.E. President of Ukraine Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy (video address)


Presidential Panel

H.E. President of the Republic of Latvia Mr. Egils Levits

H.E. President of the Republic of Lithuania Mr. Gitanas Nausėda

H.E. President of the Republic of Poland Mr. Andrzej Duda

H.E. President of Romania Mr. Klaus Iohannis

Moderator: Rytis Zemkauskas, journalist, broadcaster


Lunch Break


Europe of Values, Ethics, and Morals

John Lloyd, journalist, contributing editor to the Financial Times, director of Journalism at Reuters Institute

Sławomir Sierakowski, Head of Krytyka Polityczna, Director of Advanced Studies Institute in Warsaw

Dainius Žalimas, Dean of Law Faculty, Head of Constitutional Court of Lithuania (2014-2020)

Moderator: Aurimas Švedas, historian, vice-director of Lithuanian Institute of History


Coffee Break


Europe as a Peace Project

Francis Martin O’Donnell, life member of the Institute of International and European Affairs

Anatoli Mikhailov, philosopher, founding rector of European Humanities University

Piotr Świtalski, former ambassador of European Union to Armenia

Moderator: Ineta Dabašinskienė, Head of Centre of Multilingualism and Intercultural Communication at Vytautas Magnus University


Coffee Break


The Future of Europe

Gilbert Casasus, professor of European Studies at University of Fribourg

Mikhail Minakov, Senior Fellow at Kennan Institute, editor-in-chief of Kennan Focus Ukraine

Natalie Nougayrède, former editor-in-chief of Le Monde and Editorial board member of The Guardian

Moderator: Viktoras Bachmetjevas, philosopher, associate professor at Vytautas Magnus University

Satellite Program

26 November, 2022

Architecture Center, Laisvės al. 102, Kaunas


Visit to the Exhibition UKRAINE! UNMUTED


How to Show the Invisible

Gintarė Masteikaitė, head of Lithuanian Dance Information Center

Pawel Potoroczyn, philosopher, educational and cultural chief executive, diplomat

Volodymyr Sheiko, general director of the Ukrainian Institute

Moderator: Oksana Forostyna, Europe’s Futures Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences




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