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Democratic governance in Europe and the world is in an uncertain state. Between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continued democratic backsliding around the world, to rule of law concerns within the EU and the finalisation of the Conference on the Future of Europe, it is vital for European states to strengthen their coordination and cooperation in defence of democratic principles in Europe and beyond.

Given the major changes to European and world politics since the start of the pandemic, this in-person conference offers a fascinating chance to explore the future of European and global democracy featuring high-profile speakers from the EU, national governments and civil society. 


Registration & coffee

Welcome words by Ken Godfrey, Executive Director, European Partnership for Democracy

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Democracy in the European Union is in a state of flux in the run-up to the 2024 European Parliament elections. The recently concluded Conference on the Future of Europe has reinvigorated calls for treaty changes to introduce EU-wide electoral lists and more elected offices to the EU, while the launch of Article 7 sanctions procedure against Hungary for its violations of the rule of law represents the start of a new chapter for democracy in the EU.  Will these developments bring meaningful change to European democracy, and where will the future of democracy in the EU lead next? EU policymakers and democracy practitioners within the EU will come together to explore these questions in this session. 


  • Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, European Commission
  • Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary-General of the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA)

Moderator: Michael Meyer-Resende, Executive Director of Democracy Reporting International


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Breakout sessions:

Presenter: Holly Ruthrauff, Lead Expert at Election Observation and Democracy Support (EODS)

Moderator: Patrick Costello, Head of Division, European External Action Service

Presenter: Shannon O’Connell, Director of Policy and Programmes, Westminster Foundation for Democracy

Moderator: Maria Giovanna Manieri, Team leader Rights and Democracy, Greens/EFA in the European Parliament

Presenter: Thomas Millar, Head of Section, Democratic Governance, DG INTPA

Moderator: Laura Bretea, Policy Officer, DG International Partnerships, European Commission

Moderator: Sébastien Brack, Senior Adviser, Kofi Annan Foundation

Discussants: Rita Jonusaite, EU DisinfoLab; Laura Becana Ball, Global Forum for Media Development

Presenter: Nicolas Bouchet, Visiting Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States

Moderator: Peter Sondergaard, European Endowment for Democracy

Presenter: Carolyn Logan, Director of Analysis, Afrobarometer 

Moderator: Judit Lantai, Secretary General, Young European Federalists (JEF Europe)

The Team Europe Democracy initiative was recently launched as a part of the Team Europe approach for cooperation between the EU institutions and EU Member-States. This initiative promises to advance the development of common approaches to supporting democratisation globally and to open up possibilities for closer collaboration and new forms of multi-country partnerships on projects on larger scales – both geographically and thematically. This session will explore the opportunities and challenges of cooperation under Team Europe Democracy for building stronger partnerships to improve accountability, political participation, and media freedom across the world.


  • Chiara Adamo, Acting Director for Human Development, Migration, Governance and Peace, DG International Partnerships, European Commission
  • Christian Leffler, former Deputy Secretary-General, European External Action Service
  • Gary Klaukka, Executive Director of Demo Finland

Moderator: Richard Youngs, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe 


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Looking ahead to the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU

Closing remarks by Ambassador Jitka Látal Znamenáčková, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the Political and Security Committee of the EU


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Networking drinks
  • Where: Kamilou, 36 Rue Joseph II, 1000 Bruxelles
  • When: 18:30
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