Conversations for the Future of Europe 2023

A series of events tackling major EU challenges taking place from April to May 2023

In order to guide the steps of the European Union and in order to mobilize its citizens so as to make such steps possible, it is not enough to analyse the past and to 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 reìalisations 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)here (2020), here (2021) and here (2022).

The 2023 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 2023 Coversations, please send an email to; otherwise, you can click on the links below and register to each event individually.


26 April 2023
Towards a new deal on migration and mobility between Europe and Africa
Speaker: Mehari Maru
Discussants: Lenka Drazanova and Fabian Lutz

10 May 2023
Towards a European Defence Community 2.0
Speaker: Oreste Foppiani
Discussants: Silvia D’Amato and Jan Zielonka

17 May 2023
How can media pluralism and quality be guaranteed in the algorithmic society?
Speaker: Elda Brogi
Discussants: Karolina Leakovic and Jan Erik Kermer