Markus J. Prutsch devotes a lecture to the significance of politics and culture for the “Project Europe”, examining the tense relationship between the two. Is Europe primarily a political product or a cultural one? What role does the promotion of culture on the part of the European Union, both in an idealistic and financial sense, play in the formation of a common European spirit? In response to the exhibition, Prutsch examines the understanding of democracy today with a view to its origins in Greek antiquity, and relates this to the becoming of Europe and the European Union in particular. The lecture provides a starting point for a critical examination of the legal reality of the European Union and raises the question of a communal European identity, an individual sense of belonging beyond nation states.
PD Dr. Markus J. Prutsch (*1981 Wagna, lives in Brussels and Strasbourg) is Senior Researcher and Administrator in the European Parliament, responsible for the policy field of culture and education, Private Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Heidelberg and member of the Global Young Academy as well as fellow of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. After studying history and political science in Austria and Germany, he was a research assistant at the European University Institute (Florence), where he received his PhD in 2009 with a thesis on 19th-century political history and theory. Prutsch was a researcher at the University of Helsinki as part of the international research project Europe 1815 – 1914 before moving to the European institutions in 2011.