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George Soros's public interventions are always eagerly awaited. The famous US financier and philanthropist, born in Hungary, is known both for his straight talking and for the perceptiveness of his analyses. Now 83 years of age, he has lost none of his legendary pugnacity: he has returned to centre stage with a new book on the future of Europe (Tragedy of the European Union: Disintegration or Revival?, Public Affairs, 2014 - Deutsches Original: Wetten auf Europa: Warum Deutschland den Euro retten muss, um sich selbst zu retten, DVA, 2014).

Together with Gregor Peter Schmitz, Europe correspondent for Der Spiegel, who will also question him in the course of this event, he has presented a sharp and insightful analysis of Europe's handling of the financial crisis and of the controversial leadership of Angela Merkel. To avoid the collapse of the unique European project and its ideal of an open society, Soros argues vigorously in favour of more solidarity in Europe and of the more active involvement of its citizens - a vision that he promotes worldwide through the network of the Open Society Foundations, which he founded.

Almost 65 years after the Schuman Declaration, what is left today of the European ideal and what future does the Union have? How can we construct a European society that will be more fair, more transparent, and more participative? We will hear George Soros debate these questions with Herman Van Rompuy and Pierre Moscovici (former French Minister of Economy and Finance).