The 2005-06 Academic Year got off to an exciting start for the European Forum. Following the recent terror attacks in Madrid and London, the Forum plans to be organizing a variety of events on the manners in which European countries and institutions are facing the threat of terrorism. In the first weeks of the Fall Quarter the European Forum hosted several European politicians, academics and authors. On October 12 John Bruton, European Union Ambassador to the United States and former Prime Minister of Ireland (1994-97), presented his views on Europe and the United States as global partners in a fascinating lecture for a crowd of about 100 faculty and researchers.
Earlier during the Fall term the European Forum was honored to welcome Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Artis Pabriks. On September 21 he gave a lecture on Latvia's current challenges in foreign policy and homeland security, and answered questions on Latvia's relations with the United States and its position within the European Union.
During a visit to Stanford on October 4 German sociologist Heinz Bude, from the University of Kassel, presented his views on the most recent German elections from a broad, societal and historical perspective, paying attention to the 1968 student uprisings and their long-term impact on German society. Later on in October Christian Deubner, from the CEPII research center in Paris, shared his opinions on current developments in French politics, with a focus on the French rejection of the EU Constitution earlier this year and its impact on France's position in the EU.
On October 26 German author Peter Schneider offered his reflections on the cultural differences between Europe and the United States. He compared the relationship between the two continents to a marriage that has its ups and downs, but endures. In a seminar on November 3 Josef Joffe, Editor of the German newspaper Die Zeit, pointed at cultural, demographic, political and economic reasons to argue that the European Union is not about to become a new superpower. Both events drew much attention and a large audience from the Stanford community.
Later on in November there will be talks on the effects of the Europeanization of the holocaust on the attitudes toward Jews (November 16), by Werner Bergmann from the Technische Universität Berlin; and on Poland's current economic dilemma's (November 17), by Wojciech Bienkowski, from the Warsaw School of Economics.