Debate #2: Mainz-Thessaloniki

Greeks and Germans in Thessaloniki and Mainz will discuss their shared future as IDEA UK and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung will host their second Greek-German debate on Monday, November 4 at 18:30 CET / 19:30 EET on the topic Europe: Political Union or Trade Bloc? The guest speakers are:

Supporing Europe as a political union:

Constantin Schüßler has studied European Studies from 2007 until 2010 at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). During his Bachelor study his main fields of interest have been European Security Politics and Foreign Affairs of the EU. In 2009, he spent one semester abroad at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) focusing on International Relations. For his postgraduate study, he attended the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) where he successfully graduated in International Security Studies in November 2011. Mr. Schüßler has been able to gain profound knowledge on German politics as an intern at the German Federal Parliament and with the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation. He is a member of the Deutsche Atlantische Gesellschaft as well as the Junge Union Deutschlands. During his studies in Maastricht, Mr. Schüßler was a member of the United Nations Student Association. Moreover, internships with SCHOTT AG and CNC Communications AG provided him with valuable insights into communications from a business and consultancy perspective. In 2012/2013, Mr. Schüßler participated in the “Next Chapter Debating Forum” over Germany’s future, which has been organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation. He currently works as a Junior Client Executive at Burson-Marsteller in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 

Nikos Vrantsis is a political scientist. He studied Political Science at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His master is on Political Theory and Philosophy. He has worked as a Journalist for radio and print media. He is the Vice President of JEF Thessaloniki. Today he lives in Thessaloniki and works as editor for


Supporting Europe as a trade bloc:

Stratos Karakasides was born in Thessaloniki. He is a student of Political Science at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He was elected general secretary of the Greek Association of Political and Economic Science Students. He is an active member of the International Association of Political Science Students. He writes for the POLECON academic journals issued for scientific libraries of Greece, POLITICON issued abroad by IAPSS and the social magazine Think Free circulating in Thessaloniki. He has worked in research projects of the Institute for Democracy Konstantinos Karamanlis where in 2012 he received a grant in the Political Academy of Institute. Stratos is a political executive at O.N.NE.D, the youth organisation of Nea Dimokratia. He is a co-organizer of the 1st World Congress of Political Science to be organized by IAPSS in Thessaloniki 1-7 April 2014. Stratos is currently working at the public radio of the City of Thessaloniki presenting webcasts for Youth Affairs, Politics, and Society.  

Malte Kilian has finished his studies of Political Science and Economics at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz in July 2013. His main fields of interest have been the European Integration and European Economic Policy. During his studies, he was a member of the student organisation “Current Issues of European Integration” and did an internship at the European Parliament in 2008. Furthermore, he was able to gain profound international experience within the scope of a semester abroad at San Diego State University and an internship at the Washington, D.C. office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in 2013. Prior to this, he worked as a student assistant at Deutsche Börse Group in Frankfurt, dealing with European Financial Market Regulation. Since 2008, he has worked for the Junge Union Deutschlands on a voluntary basis. He is now a member of the staff at the office of a Member of the Rhineland-Palatinate Parliament.   

The venues are:
  • In Thessaloniki: Goethe-Institut, Vassilissis Olgas 66
  • In Mainz: Historisches Institut, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

About our host cities

Mainz is famous for being the city where the first books printed using movable type were manufactured there by Gutenberg in the 15th century. The local university, which will host the debate, and the local debating society are both named after the printer who is credited with enabling the spread of learning to the masses. The people of Mainz are famous for their outgoing "rheinisch" friendliness and for their huge "Fasnacht", their Carnival celebrations. They attract 500.000 visitors each year and are famous for their emphasis on strong political jokes. The city is the capital of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. It was founded by the Romans in the late 1st century BC and is located on the confluence of the Main and Rhine rivers.


Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece, was an important Roman and Byzantine metropolis, a larger city than London in the 14th century when it was the second-wealthiest and second-largest city of the Byzantine Empire behind Constantinople. In Ottoman times, Thessaloniki retained its prestige as a major trading hub and was a vibrant multicultural city, home to Christians, Muslims and Jews. Today, Thessaloniki is one of the most important business and trade hubs in Southeastern Europe. Thessaloniki was the European Capital of Culture in 1997 and will be the European Youth Capital in 2014.