Is our democracy at risk?
Team of the 6th EBS Law Congress
70 years ago, the constitutional law for the Federal Republic of Germany was solemnly proclaimed. Initially intended only as a provisional measure, it has now been the constitution of our liberal democracy for seven decades. But our democracy is facing many threats: Islamist terror, right-wing and left-wing extremism, foreign extremism, espionage and much more endanger our constitution. During the 6th EBS Law Congress, students, professors and top-class speakers discussed the topic of “Democracy in Danger? The importance of the form of government for politics and business”.
In this interview, the student organisers and law students at EBS Universität, Esra Eroglu and Lucas Krämer, talk about the one-year preparation phase and their highlights of the congress.
The EBS Law Congress is the largest student-organized law congress in Germany. What attracted you to the task of organising it?
Esra: I think it’s great how the work of the different team’s interlocks and forms a big project with a result in the form of two congress days. We wanted to take on the task of coordinating this work.
Lucas: We also find it important to get involved outside the lecture hall and create a platform to give students from all over Germany the opportunity to exchange ideas.
The preparation of such a congress takes one year. What were your main tasks?
Lucas: Our main tasks were to keep the overview and to coordinate the work of the individual teams.
And what was the biggest challenge?
Esra: With a team of 30 students, there are of course just as many different opinions that you want to try to take into account - it’s not always easy. And here we are already in the context of the organisation with our democracy topic.
How do you feel when you suddenly exchange ideas with decision-makers from business and politics?
Lucas: It is a great honour for us to have been able to attract such high-calibre personalities to congress. This also shows how important both the topic and the commitment of students are. This became clear in the personal exchange with these very personalities. For example, we were able to make an appointment with our patron Prof. Dr Norbert Lammert in Berlin prior to the congress, which was a special moment.
How did you come up with this year’s topic?
Esra: We discussed a wide range of different topic proposals for this congress. This year we again decided on a very political topic, because democracy affects all of us. The changes in political and social structures are current and so we wanted to make it the subject of the congress and deal with this important topic as committed budding lawyers.
Lucas: Yes, when we decided on this topic at the end of last year, clear changes in electoral behaviour were already evident in the state elections in Hesse and Bavaria. The same picture emerged in the European elections. Extremism was also an omnipresent topic. All this inspired us to choose a topic and the election results of the past weeks have once again confirmed how topical the topic is.
What do you personally take with you for your future career?
Esra: We have learned a lot this year, not only by leading a team but also by writing to top-class speakers or communicating with partner law firms and companies - things you don’t usually do during your studies. And in addition to these skills and the experience we have gained, we have exchanged ideas with a wide variety of people over the course of the year as part of the congress organisation and have gained insights into various professional fields. I think that we are taking all this with us for our personal career path.
What impressed you most in those two days?
Lucas: Personally, I don’t like to emphasise anything in particular. It was the whole work that simply overwhelmed me. Finally, you could see what you had been working towards for a year and the puzzle pieces of the different teams came together to a great result. In addition, we received positive feedback from all sides during the congress and afterwards. I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity once again to thank all those involved, especially our team, for their work over the past year.
Esra: I can only agree!
Do you have any tips for fellow students?
Esra: If you invest time and get involved outside the curriculum, you gain very valuable experience - we are looking forward to being available as a contact person for the new congress team at the organisation.
Lucas: I think that last year we learned how important communication is. Our successors should also pay attention to this. Otherwise, of course, we wish the new team all the best for next year and are already sad that we will not be able to attend the 7th EBS Law Congress in person next year.