“Between Reforms and a Hard Place: Can a Conference Save Europe?”
Dating back to 2007 and the Treaty of Lisbon, the operating system of the EU needs critical security updates. Information, communication, and financial technologies are disrupting institutions, business models and regulatory frameworks. Internal EU disagreements but also external, systemic dynamics are challenging the international liberal order. A chain of crises in the European continent is refocusing public attention on debates about EU legitimacy, its democratic deficit, and its significant disconnect from the citizens. In the face of all these changes, reforming the EU is crucial. Reforms are hard, but lack of reforms will be harder and will put the whole European project in a precarious position.
In this context, the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) has been touted as a solution to these problems: a way to bring about critical institutional reforms that cannot be delayed any longer. However, we cannot forget that the Conference is also one great big experiment of direct democracy, one that has never happened before on such big scale. Will it be enough to unlock Europe’s potential in a period of intense technological disruption? Can it bridge the gap between the EU and the citizens? Will it stave off a new Eurosceptic wave across the continent? Can it create an EU that will finally act as an autonomous global actor that will protect and preserve liberal values in the world? Can a conference of citizens really save Europe?
Indicative list of anticipated themes:
A way out of crisis? CoFoE and the necessity for reforms
European strategic autonomy for EU institutions after CoFoE
Geopolitics in the Western Balkans: can CoFoE renew EU enlargement?
CoFoE and the future of democracy in Europe: direct and participatory?
A Europe of, for and by the people? Citizen involvement in European politics
EU democratic deficit revisited: what reforms to consider
EU global strategy at the intersection of geopolitics and technology
Technological sovereignty and international order: a global role for Europe?
The geopolitics of 5G and the European ‘theater’ of operations
Europe and the New Cold War: how to deal with China
European politics after Covid: why do we care about populism and why now?
Post-Covid identity politics in Europe: the rise of nativism?
Selected authors will be asked to submit a draft paper of approx. 5.000 words
Published authors will be remunerated with 700 EUR
For more information, please consult author guidelines (tbd).
01 July 2021: Deadline for Abstract Submissions
15 July 2021: Notification of Selection Results
15 September 2021: Submission of Draft Manuscript
30 September 2021: Peer-Review and Revisions
15 October 2021: Submission of Final Paper
The European Liberal Forum (ELF) is the official political foundation of the European Liberal Party, the ALDE Party. Together with 47 member organisations, we work all over Europe to bring new ideas into the political debate, to provide a platform for discussion, and to empower citizens to make their voices heard. Our work is guided by liberal ideals and a belief in the principle of freedom. We stand for a future-oriented Europe that offers opportunities for every citizen. ELF is engaged on all political levels, from the local to the European. We bring together a diverse network of national foundations, think tanks and other experts. In this role, our forum serves as a space for an open and informed exchange of views between a wide range of different EU stakeholders.
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