09. September 2015
From 20 to 25 September, the fifth generation of FutureLab Europe participants travelled to Brussels to take part in the 2015 FutureLab Europe Annual Forum. During the week-long programme, FutureLabbers got a thorough introduction to FutureLab Europe’s focal topics – Active Democracy, Equal Opportunities and European Identity – by meeting top level EU decision makers, NGO representatives, journalists and business leaders.
Between the 20th and the 25th of September, a group of 24 bright students and young professionals travelled to Brussels to meet and discuss with different stakeholders in the EU decision-making process on occasion of the 2015 FutureLab Europe Annual Forum. The group is composed of 24 bright young individuals, coming from a mix of 16 EU and non-EU European countries.
The Annual Forum provided them with a thorough introduction to the EU institutions and the issues currently on the EU agenda. During the week-long intensive conference, FutureLabbers debated the state of democratic values in Europe; the challenges for young people in having equal opportunities and finding quality jobs in the labour market; as well as the rise of nationalism and xenophobia in European societies. They presented their own ideas and challenged their preconceptions by debating with each other as well as with top-level EU decision makers, including politicians, policy-makers, journalists and representatives from both NGOs and business associations.
Key highlights of the programme included a debate with the President Emeritus of the European Council and current President of the European Policy Centre, Herman van Rompuy and a meeting with Laszlo Andor, former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. The new FutureLab Europe participants debated also how to combat the rise of nationalism and xenophobia in European societies with Monica Frassoni, Co-Chair of the European Green Party and member of the Spinelli Group, and Philippe Van Parijs, Philosopher and Professor at the University of Louvain.
FutureLab Europe participants will continue voicing their opinions in blogs and articles and join public discussions across Europe, including a follow-up Europe@debate conference to be held in Brussels next spring.