Europe Now: Integration, Society, and Islam in a New Europe


  • Daniel Cohn-Bendit

Cosponsored by the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies

Daniel Cohn-Bendit was born in France and spent his childhood in Paris. He moved to Germany in 1958 but later returned to France to study sociology at the University of Nanterre. It was here in 1968 that he first became known as a spokesperson and student leader during the May Revolution in Paris. He was subsequently expelled from France and he settled in Frankfurt where he was an active member of the Sponti scene which exercised a social revolution in the 1970s. Growing from this scene was the alternative urban magazine "Pflasterstrand", of which Cohn-Bendit served as the editor and publisher. It was here that he began taking part in eco-struggles against nuclear energy and the expansion of the Frankfurt airport. The Sponti movement officially accepted parliamentary democracy in 1984 and Cohn-Bendit joined the German Green Party. In 1989, he became deputy mayor of Frankfurt, in charge of multicultural affairs. Since January of 2002, he has served as co-president of the Greens/Free European Alliance Group in the European Parliament. He is a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and a member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. In addition to his political activities, Cohn-Bendit was the host of the "Literaturclub" show for Swiss TV station DRS for 10 years, and he is an author of several books including the most recent, Quand tu seras président, written with Bernard Kouchner and published in April 2004.