“What can the EU do – what is the EU allowed to do?”

Franz Fischler in conversation with political scientist Ulrike Guérot at the Vienna Humanities Festival 2018

24. May 2019
Magazine > Voices > “What can the EU do – what is the EU allowed to do?”

The European Union is increasingly perceived by citizens as an excessive bureaucracy. At the same time, the marginal role played by the EU in international foreign and security policy is deplored. But how (un) powerful is the EU really? And also: how (un) democratic is the EU and is it listening to what motivates citizens the most?

Hardly any Austrian knows the European Union better than Franz Fischler, former Federal Minister and EU Commissioner. In an extensive conversation with political scientist Ulrike Guérot, he shares his insider knowledge about Brussels and gives his assessment of the present and future of the great European experiment.

Cover picture: European flag. Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. Photo: © Sara Kurfeß /

Vienna Humanities Festival

The Vienna Humanities Festival, organised by the IWM, Wien Museum and Time to Talk, is a series of around 40 Events (in German and English) which took place from 27 till 30 September 2018 for the third time at the Wien Museum, TU Wien, Evangelische Volksschule and Stadtkino.

The topic of 2018 “Power and Powerlessness” focused on the vulnerability of democracies in Europe in light of historical events embedding them in the context of contemporary socio-political developments.