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International Symposiums Print E-mail
The strength of the evidence made this activity necessary : to subject the very purpose of the Museum to what remains the best of European tradition – free debate. Three symposiums were organised between 1997 and 2006.

‘ The Borders of Europe ’ - September 1999 :

The debates highlighted a question which, up to that point, had been overshadowed by technocratic arguments. Besides the criteria of economic or political convergence, are there any cultural criteria ? Who is part of Europe, who is excluded from it, and why ? Who has opportunities to join Europe one day and on what grounds ? In other words, is the foundation of the European Union a product of ‘constitutional patriotism’ or a historic community ?

In the fullness of time, the symposium revealed the prospective nature of these debates, still at the heart of European topicality. The proceedings were published by De Boeck (1).

‘ From Europe-World to Europe into the World ’ -  April 2002 :

The 20th century saw a radical change in the way that Europeans define their relationships with the rest of the world. When and how did this change occur ? What are the ramifications, for Europe and the world, of the new relationships established between the two ? For the first time, Europe does not find itself at the heart of a major historical phenomenon. It must take up the challenge of how to live through globalisation without sacrificing its own model of civilisation.

This symposium was held in the margin of the Museum’s first prefiguration exhibition, The Belle Europe. The Age of the Universal Exhibitions, 1851-1913. The proceedings were published by De Boeck (2).

‘ Europe and Its Religions ’

Organised in the margin of the Museum’s second prefiguration exhibition, God(s), A User’s Guide. The Contemporary Religious Experience, the debates revealed an observation – Europe is the melting pot of all the world’s religions – and the fundamental questions it is currently throwing up in Europe. For religions today intentionally influence the fate of the community more than in the past, calling secularism into question and through it the position that religions intend to occupy in the cities, as reflected by the status of women, religious violence and the complex relationship with the media. Among the prospective solutions, education about the ‘ religious phenomenon ’ has been the subject of a prolonged debate.
The proceedings are being published, and will constitute the third volume of the Museum of Europe symposium proceedings.

(1)    Elie Barnavi (Ed.), Les frontières de l’Europe, De Boeck, Brussels, 2001.
(2)    Krzysztof Pomian, Henri Dupuis (Ed.), De l’Europe-monde à l’Europe dans le monde,
De Boeck, Brussels, 2004.