Project: Ask Europe – Voices on the Future of Europe

Engaging CEE voices in the Conference on the Future of Europe – media, civil society, public opinion

9 May 2022

Built in partnership with the European Parliament, our latest project aims to facilitate the constructive input of the general public as well as media and civil society from Central and Eastern Europe in the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The project seeks to overcome an image of recalcitrance and limited input associated with the region, by engagement campaigning and enhancing civic participation in the COFOE platforms. By means of extensive discussions, media articles and videos that respond to many issues raised around the COFOE it will provide regular, reliable and pluralistic information on the EU future and give CEE citizens a push to actively contribute to the action.

During the course of the project, diverse groups of stakeholders – including youth and minorities – will be invited to take part and discuss key topics presented in the online platform and strategic directions for the European project with particular attention to the place of civil society organisations in enhancing activities and democratic legitimacy of EU institutions and its decision-making process.

The overall specific objectives of the proposed project are set to:

  • facilitate civil society input into the Future of Europe Conference and increase awareness and information about CoFoE;
  • improve the quality and quantity of public debates and generate positive public responsiveness to policy directions in democratic processes from Central and Eastern Europe;
  • deliver an informed and structured outline on strategic uncertainties regarding the future directions of the European Union, popular support and ownership of the European project;
  • develop a network of civil society stakeholders and media in Central and Eastern Europe by amplifying regional and in-country dialogue about key topics of European debates.

ARTICLES

Wojciech Przybylski, Will the Debate on the Euro Save Central Europe’s EU Future?, 11.05.2022, at Visegrad Insight, and soon in all CE press!

Across the continent, countries are looking for ways to strengthen economic, political and also defence cooperation. 

It is clear today that Europe’s tomorrow will be defined more by the fact of belonging to the euro area than by the conference on its future.

The report of the Conference on the Future of Europe, published on 9 May, tells us what fears and hopes Europeans have for the Union. Let us note, however, that the voice of the Poles and several other nationalities will be a marginal addition to that of the Germans, the French and the Hungarians. It appears that the citizens of several countries have missed an opportunity to express their voice in the Union. 

Martin Ehl, New EU in the World. How Brussels becomes a real geopolitical actor, 30.03.2022, in English at Visegrad Insight, and in Hospodarske Noviny (Czech). The text is also available in Slovak and soon in other CE press!

After 24 February this year, Europe has changed fundamentally and with it the position of the European Union in the world.

We do not yet know exactly what the consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine will be, what will happen beyond the EU’s and NATO’s eastern border. 

But we do know that many Europeans, and especially their leaders, have begun to think differently about defence and security, including energy security than they used to. In the few days since Russia’s incursion into its neighbour, as much has happened in European Union politics as at any other time in decades. 

Zuzana Kepplova, It was only after the invasion that the future of Europe began to be discussed in earnest, in English at Visegrad Insightin Czech, in Slovak SME.

The most important date for the Conference on the Future of Europe is not even the beginning of May 2021, when it was launched. Nor is it 9 May this year, when the three representatives of the European institutions present the final proposal. But 24 February this year.

Indeed, we can quite rightly ask whether a number of the Conference’s objectives for Europe have not been paradoxically achieved as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

If the invasion had not taken place, the outcomes of the Conference would have been read as a manifesto for civilisation. The Europeans, in their various proposals, have set out what they would like to see in the areas where the Union has an impact. 

EVENTS

On 18 February 2022, Visegrad Insight held a strategic foresight workshop with a small circle of top CEE experts and Members of the European Parliament to perform a reality check on scenarios on the future of Europe developed by CEE civil society leaders and build up actionable solutions for the public debate.

This interactive session was organised online and involved three interactive sessions led by Wojciech Przybylski, the Editor-in-chief. It will be preceded by short inspirational discussions with Ivan Vejvoda, Acting Rector of the IWM (Vienna) and Central European MEPs — Danuta Hübner, Markéta Gregorová, Miriam Lexmann, and Adam Jasser to inspire ideas for the discussion. See more: https://visegradinsight.eu/event-central-europe-on-the-conference-on-the-future-of-europe/

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