Conversations for the Future of Europe 2021

A series of events tackling major EU challenges taking place from April to May 2021

The spirit of the Conversations. To guide the steps of the European Union and to mobilise its citizens so as to make such steps possible, it is not enough to analyse the past and criticize the present. It is crucial to concoct concrete proposals for a better future and to subject them to a no-nonsense, multidisciplinary discussion. The Conversations for the Future of Europe aim to contribute to such a discussion. A concern for concreteness and political feasibility should be present throughout, the aim being, as in Robert Schuman’s 1950 declaration, des réalisations concrètes rather than vague dreams. However, this should not prevent us from bearing in mind Max Weber’s warning at the end of Politik als Beruf: “Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible. A concern for feasibility is compatible with boldness. Indeed, it may require it.”

The format. Each Conversation focuses on one issue manifesting as a major challenge to the EU. The issue is briefly introduced by one speaker, presenting a brief (and bold) proposal for how to address this challenge. This initial presentation is then followed by comments from two discussants, after which there is a general discussion with the audience.

The history. The Conversations started in the Autumn of 2016 on initiative of Philippe Van Parijs, who gathered together with members of the EUI Community – from emeritus professors to young PhD researchers – in the ‘Salotti Fiorentini’ to have frank and open discussions about the future of the EU. The next year, in a joint effort with Brigid Laffan, these discussions took the form of ‘Conversations for the Future of Europe’, and since then they have been reconvened every Spring in the rooms of Villa Schifanoia. Records from past editions can be found here (2019) and here (2020).

The 2021 Conversations for the Future of Europe are organised by Philippe Van Parijs and Lorenzo Cicchi.

How to participate. If you want to receive an invitation for all sessions of the 2021 Coversations, please send an email to; otherwise, you can click on the links below and register to each event individually.

Calendar and video recording

April 14, 2021 – Online via Zoom
EGPP Seminar Series: Conversations for the Future of Europe
A Democratic Panopticon for the Recovery Fund as a new form of permanent citizen Involvement in EU decision-making
Speaker: Kalypso Nicolaïdis
Discussants: Albena Azmanova & Hannah Werner

May 5, 2021 – Online via Zoom
EGPP Seminar Series: Conversations for the Future of Europe
A Republic of Europe? European democracy after the pandemic
Speaker: Ulrike Guérot
Discussants: Alberto Alemanno & Stefan Collignon

May 12, 2021 – Online via Zoom
EGPP Seminar Series: Conversations for the Future of Europe
Democratising Europe’s economic government: The T-Dem Proposal of a Transnational Parliamentary Assembly
Speaker: Antoine Vauchez
Discussant: Joachim Blatter & Siyana Timcheva

May 19, 2021 – Online via Zoom
EGPP Seminar Series: Conversations for the Future of Europe
EU taxes and how they can increase citizens support for the European Union
Speaker: Miguel Maduro
Discussants: Jakob Kapeller & Mattias Kumm