Dr Katarina Barley is Vice-President of the European Parliament and member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In the European elections in May 2019 she was the lead candidate of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Prior to that, she was a member of the German Bundestag from 2013 to 2019, during which time she was, among others, SPD Secretary General, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Acting Federal Minister for Labour and Federal Minister for Justice and Consumer Protection. Before her time in politics, she worked as a lawyer, research assistant at the Federal Constitutional Court and as a judge at the Regional Court of Trier and the Wittlich District Court.
Delara Burkhardt is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), based in Kiel, in the very North of Germany. In 2019 she became the youngest German MEP. As a member of the European Parliament’s committee on the environment, she works mainly on climate and biodiversity protection and the circular economy. In particular, as rapporteur on this issue, she is currently working on introducing European rules for deforestation-free supply chains. She is also the spokeswoman on environmental policies for the SPD delegation in the European Parliament. Moreover, she works on the topic of migration in the European Parliament’s committee on home affairs. Before becoming a Member of the European Parliament, she was Vice-President of the SPD’s youth organisation (Jusos) and worked in the project management of a Hamburg-based communications agency. She studied social sciences and socio-economy in Kiel and Hamburg.
PD Dr. Hans-Jürgen Urban is a Member of the Executive Committee IG Metall, where he is responsible for issues of social policy, health protection, job design and vocational training. After studying political science, economics and philosophy at the universities of Bonn, Giessen and Marburg, he received his doctorate in 2003 from the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at Phillips-Universität Marburg. Since his habilitation in 2014 at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, he has been working there as a Private lecturer (venia legendi for sociology). Since October 2015, he has been a Permanent Fellow at the German Research Foundation (DFG) College "Post-Growth Societies" at the Friedrich Schiller University.
Robert Menasse is an Austrian novelist and essayist. He studied German studies, philosophy and political science in Vienna, Salzburg and Messina. Phd in 1980. Between 1981 and 1988, Robert worked as a visiting professor at the Institute of Literature Theory at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Since 1988, he has mainly lived in Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam and Brussels as a free writer. His novels are translated into twenty languages.
1996 Writer in Residence at the New York University, 1999 Artist in Residence in Amsterdam, 2007 Poetic-Lectures at University Frankfurt.
Most recently, he wrote about the future of Europe and the European Union, reporting EU-reality, reconstructing the EU idea, criticising tendencies of re-nationalisation and anti-European integration movements. "Der europäische Landbote", 2012, and „Heimat ist die schönste Utopie“, 2014, the Brussels-novel „Die Hauptstadt“, 2017, and „Reden (wir) über Europa“, 2018.
Olaf Scholz has been Federal Minister of Finance and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany since March 2018. In August 2020 the SPD’s federal board nominated him as their chancellor candidate for the upcoming election in September 2021. Scholz was born in the German city of Osnabrück in 1958, grew up in Hamburg and is married. In 1985, he completed his law degree at the University of Hamburg. He joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in 1975; since then, he has served in various positions within the party. He was a member of the German Bundestag from 1998 to 2001 and from 2002 to 2011. In 2007, Scholz became Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, a position he held until 2009. Following this, he was appointed deputy chair of the SPD parliamentary group. From 2011 to 2018, he served as Mayor of Hamburg. From February until April 2018, he was acting chair of the SPD.