The first annual Autumn Meetings in St. Petesburg were organised on September 30, 2017 in cooperation with the Russian Branch of the Heinrich-Boell-Foundation, Centre for German and European Studies (Bielefeld – St. Petersburg), Dutch Institute and Polish Institute in St. Petersburg.

The idea is to reflect current challenges and changes, which are observed in contemporary Europe. The reason for such a broad question is the visible need and interest of the Russian public to understand better, what is going on now and which fundamental changes take place nowadays. There is a lot of negative information and news about the European developments, elections and referenda results and their interpretations, and at the same time the understanding that we live now in the times of “post-truth” is quite widespread in the Russian audience. Moreover, the available information is not often so deep, because it is mostly concentrated on the concrete events and processes. Deeper explanations can be found in the academic theoretical discussions, but they are often not easily understandable. Therefore, the discussion with Europeans, who can deeply, but understandably reflect on the nature and consequences of the current changes, can be interesting for many people in Russia including St. Petersburg. Through the discussion of broader European agenda, people can widen their horizons and better define their own agenda.

The Autumn Meetings in 2017 were attended by 13 speakers and 4 moderators from 9 European countries, with 7 experts who came from European countries to St. Petersburg specifically for the event. In total, around 150 people participated in the Autumn Meetings in 2017 in different ways: as listeners, discussion participants, speakers, volunteers.

At the end of the Autumn Meetings there was celebration of the 25th anniversary of our organization with an exhibition of posters about our history, presentation of our activities and congratulatory speeches of guests, colleagues from partner organisations and alumni of our programmes and projects.


St. Petersburg, Kazanskaya 7, Meeting Point, Music Hall

13 – 14.00: How is European Multiculturalism Changing: influx of migrants, nationalism, activism for migrants

Moderator: Maria Nozhenko


Marcell Lorincz, European Network Against Racism (Budapest, Hungary)

Tatjana Baraulina, German Federal Authority for Migration and Refugees (Nurnberg, Germany)

Johannes Voswinkel, Heinrich Boell Foundation (Germany – Moscow, Russia)

14.00 – 14.30 Open Space / coffee

14.30 – 15.30: How is the European Idea Changing in Europe: basis and limits of European integration in the past and now, meaning and role of European values in the integration and disintegration 

Moderator: Elena Belokurova


Duco Hellema, Utrecht University (Netherlands)

Irina Busygina, Higher School of Economics (Russia)

Iain Ferguson, Higher School of Economics (UK – Russia)

15.30 – 16.00 Open Space / coffee

16.00 – 17.00: How is European Civil Society Changing: role of NGOs, civic initiatives, protests

Moderator: Angelina Davydova, German-Russian Burau of Ecological Information (Russia)


Filip Pazderski, Institute of Public Affairs (Poland)

Stefan Melle, German-Russian Exchange (Germany)

Clara Moder, Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria)

17.00 – 17.30 Open Space / coffee

17.30 – 18.30: How is Activism Changing in Europe: role of activism in the European life styles, popular and influential types of activism, limits and inspirations for everyday social, urban, cultural initiatives

Moderator: Sergey Simonov, German-Russian Exchange (Russia)


Harry Hummel, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (Netherlands)

Dries van de Veldev, Co Labs (Belgium)

Arnaud Castaignet, e-Residency (France – Estonia)

Alexandra Nenko, ITMO University, Centre for German and European Studies (Russia)

18.30 – 19.00 Open Space / coffee

19:00 Celebration of 25 Years Anniversary of the German-Russian Exchange

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