- Daniel Freund, Member, European Parliament
- Kalypso Nicolaidis, Professor, School of Transnational Governance and Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford
- Zsuzsanna Szelényi, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, Robert Bosch Academy
- Richard Youngs, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict and Governance, Carnegie Europe
The Conference on the Future of Europe, starting on May 9, is an opportunity for Europe’s societies to discuss and frame the objectives of the years ahead.
Deep changes are currently shaping contemporary Europe – and creating new cleavages between European countries. The rise of autocratic systems presents perhaps the most serious challenge. Authoritarian political forces and governments cherry-pick among EU policies enabling them to benefit from the EU’s prosperity and assistance while systematically undermining the bloc’s capacity to act as one. These political forces call for a ‘Europe of nation states’. Their aggressive power politics threaten the EU’s founding values, unity, credibility, and its effort to remain a key player in the world.
The Covid pandemic created further opportunities for some governments to tighten their grip on power. If the EU remains ineffective in the defense of the rule of law, the cohesion of Europe’s society can further weaken. The EU must demonstrate a stronger pro-European narrative than the alternative of the nationalists.
This panel will discuss whether the Conference on the Future of Europe is an opportunity to reinforce the EU’s values and ability to act together.
- What are the best ways to put these critical issues on the EU’s agenda?
- How can the bloc’s political and non-governmental actors ally to better articulate strong democratic values?
- How can the conference’s actors push governments to recognize the anti-democratic threat and present a stronger political will to hold back autocratic forces in Europe?
This event is also part of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Please note that the time refers to CEST.