18. October 2013

From 13 – 19 October the third FutureLab Europe Annual Forum took place in Brussels. It brought together the 23 new participants of FutureLab Europe: bright young professionals who want to play an active part in shaping the future direction of Europe. Each one of them has proven high potential within the programmes of ten European foundations which fund FutureLab Europe.

The core topic of this year’s programme were ‘Political participation and the future of democracy’.  During their week in Brussels, the new FutureLab Europe participants had the opportunity to interact with EU decision-makers, to enhance their credentials as European citizens, to take action in support of the(ir) European idea and to develop their own skills, ideas and networks. A series of visits, closed-door debates and private meetings – with prominent stakeholders in the Commission, Council, Parliament, civil society, academia and press – provided a platform to raise their concerns and develop an own distinct vision of Europe and its needs.

On Monday the participants, among other issues, discussed the impact of the crisis on European Council’s role in the EU decision-making process with Richard Corbett, Member of Cabinet of Herman Van Rompuy and debated the challenges of “communicating Brussels” with both traditional and social media experts. On Tuesday they held a private meeting with Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission/ Commissioner for inter-institutional relations and administration and discussed the European Citizens’ Initiative with MEP Gerald Häfner and Carsten Berg, Campaign Coordinator at Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe. On Wednesday the group also worked on ideas on inclusion for young people in the democratic process. This included a debate on EU institutions’ transparency with Ronny Patz, EU Communications & Policy Officer at Transparency International and Doru Frantescu, Policy Director at VoteWatch Europe.

On Thursday 17 October, FutureLab Europe participants joined forces with ThinkYoung and College of Europe in Bruges to define their input for upcoming Council meeting. The next morning, the group handed over their manifesto at the European Council and discussed their visions with Luuk van Middelaar, Member of Cabinet of Herman Van. Read more here.

Following the forum the participants will help organise public discussions across Europe, publish their own ideas on the policy issues and challenges facing Europe and develop individual projects.

Read the reflections from day 1, day 2 and day 3 and the manifesto.

FutureLab Europe welcomes the 3rd generation of participants on board!

To learn more about the incoming participants, click here and check their profiles.