The Belfast Debate on Europe will gather leading writers, experts, public intellectuals and representatives of civil society from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Great Britain as well as mainland Europe, especially from the German-language realm and Central and Eastern Europe.

In speeches, panel discussions and literary readings, themes of borders, conflict and community will be explored from both the local and a broader European perspective.

In the wake of the political drama surrounding Brexit, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has become headline news. But while the “backstop” has been a crucial part of the Brexit negotiations, the EU demand that the border between the North and the South will remain “invisible” has largely been discussed without historical background or context.

By making the European dimension of the Northern Irish issue visible and discuss this regional conflict in the context of similar divisions elsewhere, for example in the Balkans, the Belfast Debate on Europe will not only bring new perspectives into the local debate but also contribute to a truly transnational exchange about the future of Europe across borders and other dividing lines.

Initiators: German Academy for Language and Literature, S. Fischer Foundation
Partners: Seamus Heaney Centre, John Hewitt Society, Times Literary Supplement and The Tangerine

Belfast Debate Team: Carl Henrik Fredriksson (Programme Director), Radmila Radovanović (General Manager – Programme Assistant), Corinna Blattmann (Press & PR), Lilian Ranc (Proofreading & Coordination), Barbara Anderlič (Assistant Manager), Rachel Brown & Padraig Regan (Local Support).



Tony Kennedy, Susan McKay and Antje Contius

Misha Glenny, Katy Hayward, Michael Longley and Basil Kerski

Ernst Osterkamp and Antje Contius

Robin Wilson, Senad Pećanin and Nenad Šebek

Andy Pollak, Dubravka Stojanović and Nenad Šebek

Katri Raik

Jan Carson

Adrian Tahourdin, Durs Grünbein und Alev Adil

Garrett Carr and Paul Bew

Aylin Rieger, CH Fredriksson, Dubravka Stojanović with Edna Longley

Glenn Patterson

Beautiful Babel – Poetry Reading

Peter Osborne

Angelina Kariakina and Bob Collins

Carl Henrik Fredriksson with Marius Ivaškevičius and Fintan O’Toole