The 2015 State of Europe Forum was held in Riga, the capital of Latvia which held the EU presidency Jan-Jun 2015.
The theme, “Fear not!’, echoes the words of Jesus repeated by Pope John Paul II in Warsaw in 1979, which stirred a revolution of the human spirit culminating in the fall of communism a decade later. With the current tensions within and around Europe–the Ukraine crisis and Russian expansionism, IS extremism, Gaza violence, the ebola outbreak, ongoing financial uncertainty, waves of illegal immigrants–we need to hear these reassuring words yet again.
The forum starts Friday evening May 8, with a public celebration in the old Town of Riga, in St Peter’s Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and involving local political, civic and church leaders. It continues all day Saturday, May 9, Europe Day, across the Daugava River running through the city, in the ballroom of the Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel.
Speakers include Prof Dr Tomas Halik (Charles University, Prague), Tunne Kelam, MEP (Tallinn), Prof. Dr Andrey Zubov (Moscow), Prof. Prahu Guptara (Zurich), Dr Jenny Taylor (London), Cardinal Jānis Pujats, (Rīga); Inga Bite (Latvian MP), Ainars Bastiks, (Riga City Councillor), among others.
Forum costs, not including accommodation, are €95 [€45 for participants from post-communist lands]. Reasonably-priced accommodation is available in the Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel, or other hotels and apartments ( e.g. through www.booking.com).