Schedule

Check out the overview of our event sessions here in PDF.

SESSIONS OVERVIEW
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  • Day 1

    21 February 2019

  • Day 2

    22 February 2019

  • They are the outsiders shaking up European politics; Yellow Jackets and climate change activists who are taking their grievances to the streets. But they are part of a broader wave of political activity not channelled through established parties. Some of them want to join traditional politics, but others prefer to remain outside the mainstream (e.g. the Yellow Jackets are split over whether to run in the European Parliament elections). At the same time, schoolchildren have skipped school to spark the creation of a Climate Action Network, an umbrella group for 1,300 NGOs in more than 120 countries, that demands fast action to combat greenhouse gases. Session partially in French.

    Francois Boulo, a lawyer from Normandy, will speak about his activities, Zanna Vanrenterghem, Climate Ambition Project Coordinator at CAN Europe, will explain the student-led mobilisation. Richard Youngs, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe, will provide a wider view of the phenomenon based on his recent study.
    Where
    TALLIN

  • Europe is emerging from its many crises. The memory of the financial crisis is fading as employment expands steadily and migration has fallen to levels not seen for many years. At the same time, Eurosceptic populist pressures are rising and populists are already in power in several countries. Brexit is about to take place. The European Parliament faces a crucial election in May. What do Europeans want? Are they ready for an ‘ever-closer Union,’ or have they become disillusioned about the entire EU project?

    Introduction by Daniel Gros, Director, CEPS
    _Plenary Sessions
    Institutions
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • Introductory remarks by Mugur Isărescu, Governor, National Bank of Romania
    _Plenary Sessions
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • The race is on to become the next president of the European Commission. How should we judge the performance of the present commission? What should be the new Commission’s priorities? What should the programme be for the next Commission? What can it realistically achieve? How can it ensure that the EU becomes relevant for citizens? We talk to the current European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans who is running to lead the next Commission.

    Ahead of Ideas Lab, CEPS has assessed the Juncker Commission and recommends actions for its successor in "What Comes After the Last Chance Commission: Policy Priorities for 2019-2014"

    Download the publication: https://www.ceps.eu/publications/what-comes-after-last-chance-commission-policy-priorities-2019-2024
    _Plenary Sessions
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • In the frantic race to develop more advanced forms of Artificial Intelligence, Europe seems to be caught in the middle between the US and China. Both countries invest more money and resources and appear to have well-shaped plans to lead. The European Commission has appointed a High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence to develop ethical guidelines as well as policy and investment recommendations, aimed at promoting European competitiveness. What are the key steps Europe should take to lead in this increasingly crowded space? Should Europe adopt a protectionist approach to AI and data? Should a major initiative such as a “CERN for AI” be launched in this field? And should Europe seek to compete with the US, China and other superpowers on all fronts, or only on specific aspects of AI?
    Digital Economy, Regulation & Innovation
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    TALLINN

  • Technologies exist to produce low carbon steel, cement, chemicals and other energy-intensive products exist, but they do not yet find sufficient demand in the marketplace. Low-carbon technologies are significantly more expensive than high-carbon conventional products. In the absence of a competitive global carbon price, they will need government support such as government-induced demand and some element of protection from competing high-carbon cheaper substitutes. Which sectors would be concerned? What will this mean for European trade policy and the global trade system? Can support for low-carbon technologies be made WTO-compatible?
    Energy
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    LJUBLJANA

  • Trade skirmishes are normal. Until recently, most frictions remained within the multilateral rules-based system. Nowadays, this carefully constrained trade diplomacy risks imploding. The US has launched a pre-emptive strike against China, raising tariffs on more than $200 billion of imports. At the same time, full-scale conflicts have been avoided in North America with the new Nafta pack and the US-EU midsummer truce. How can trade wars be contained? Or pre-empted? What if many trading partners insist on their country being put 'first'? Would the US, and perhaps the EU and China if trade wars get worse, not risk inflicting collateral damage on much smaller trading partners? Do trade wars merely cause bilateral damage or can they also disrupt or destroy the WTO system? And how can that be prevented from happening?
    Trade
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • The Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018. Since then, the US has confirmed its financial sanctions against Iran, despite the declared intention of the EU and its partners to circumvent them. This antagonism poses two major questions. The first has to do with geopolitics: will the EU be able to exercise strategic autonomy on the international scene? The answer will largely depend on how it responds to the second question: technically, can the EU build alternative financial schemes that ensure a high degree of protection from possible US retaliation against EU companies?
    Finance
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • The European Central Bank has terminated its asset purchase program, usually called quantitative easing, just as the economy is weakening in early 2019. Will the long awaited ‘normalisation’ of policies now be delayed or will it take place anyway? Does the US experience, where the end of asset purchases was later followed by a gradual rise in interest rates, constitute a guide for future ECB policies? What options does the ECB have in case inflation remains low?
    Economy
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    BILBAO

  • European Parliament elections are traditionally marked by low turnout. The 2019 election faces additional dangers for free elections, chiefly misinformation campaigns. The European Commission has provided EU-wide information and awareness-raising campaigns to encourage citizens to play an active role in EU decision-making. It has also focused on the responsibilities of social media providers for deleting misinformation. Are these initiatives successful? What still needs to be done to encourage citizens to enjoy their political rights and to vote in a free and informed way? What types of policies could be put in place to decrease barriers to the participation of underrepresented groups? Are we equipped to address misinformation campaigns in social media? What roles should social media and IT companies play? How can the EU ensure that its citizens are well-informed and engaged in the European democracy?

    This session is organised in the context of the EU-CITZEN project. The project counts with the financial support of the European Union.
    Rights & Security
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    PARMA

  • Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker limited legislative action to ten policy fields, restructured the internal setup of the College, and proclaimed a more political approach to the work of the Commission. Did these changes to its working style make a difference in terms of policy output? Is a ‘political’ Commission in a stronger position vis-à-vis the other institutions? Should this approach be pursued by the next Commission?
    Institutions
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    SOLNA

  • Since Vladimir Putin’s Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, relations with Europe have turned ugly. The EU has imposed sanctions and increased competition has emerged between the European Neighbourhood Policy, on the one hand, and Russia’s policy of Eurasian integration on the other. Five years on there seems to be no end to this confrontation. What are the main characteristics, successes and failures of the EU’s and Russia's approaches towards the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova? How are the EU’s and Russia’s policies perceived in the neighbourhood? What are potential areas for cooperation in the neighbourhood? This Lab session is organised in the context of EUREN - EU-Russia Expert Network, an initiative of the Delegation to the European Union to Russia and RIAC - Russian International Affairs Council.

    This Lab session is organised in the context of EUREN - EU-Russia Expert Network, an initiative of the Delegation to the European Union to Russia and RIAC - Russian International Affairs Council.
    Europe in the world
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    THESSALONIKI

  • Britain’s departure from the EU poses challenges for European capital markets with far-reaching implications. Perhaps the most important is the call for greater integration and the need to create a single unified capital market. The CMU project has been focused on the development of capital markets as alternatives to banking, and less on actions that will remove cross-border obstacles (e.g. harmonisation of insolvency laws, taxation and company laws). However, it is highly questionable whether this will create a EU27 alternative to the UK market. Should the EU aim to create its own single capital market? If so, how could it build one?
    UK & the EU
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    STRASBOURG

  • Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain have come to the forefront of European policy-making. Defined as practices that ‘grossly deviate from good commercial conduct (such as late payments for perishable food products, last minute order cancellations, etc.), they are contrary to good faith and fair dealing and are unilaterally imposed by one trading partner on another’, UTPs are now being targeted by the European Commission. Nevertheless, the merit, scope, aim and implementation of new UTP legislation are still the subject of heated debate, particularly among different food chain actors.
    Agriculture & Food chain
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    ANGERS

  • As EU states disagree on the merits of digital taxes, a global consensus is developing on how to address the tax challenges arising from digitalisation. G20 leaders recently confirmed their commitment to seek a consensus-based solution by 2020. The OECD reports “significant progress” in its process, which now includes more than 120 nations, including all the major G20 economies. Following its tax reform, the United States has engaged more actively in the search for a global solution. France and Germany have called for minimum taxation in the OECD framework. The United Kingdom and other countries have also presented proposals. At the same time, while talks on an EU digital tax linger on, several EU member states have announced unilateral tax laws. What are the prospects of reaching global consensus and what might this look like? What are the merits of unilateral vs global action? What are the risks and opportunities as the European economy goes increasingly digital?
    Digital Economy, Regulation & Innovation
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    TALLINN

  • Batteries are at the heart of the low-carbon industrial revolution – 40% of the value of an electric vehicle is linked to its battery. To date, there is almost no battery production of significance in Europe. In response, the European Commission has launched a Battery Alliance for Europe. Will it work? Opinions are divided. Some fear that Europe may repeat the mistake of solar panels, an industry that grew on public support but has now vanished as a result of global competition. Others, including the European Commission, claim that the Battery Alliance will be the new Airbus, kicking-off a European industrial renaissance.
    Energy
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    LJUBLJANA

  • Chinese investment in the US and Europe has surged in recent years, to €45.1 billion in 2016 from €2 billion in 2009. As China’s state-owned enterprises are leading this investment rush, Americans and European policymakers have raised serious concerns, on two grounds. First, is this investment distorting the principle of fair competition? Second, will Chinese purchases in such strategic sectors as transport, utilities, heavy machinery and high tech jeopardize national security? The US government has already blocked some proposed high-profile purchases, such as a Chinese government fund’s attempt to buy Xcerra, a Massachusetts-based provider of equipment for testing computer chips and circuit boards. The European Commission proposed an investment screening instrument at EU level. Are these concerns justified? Does the new investment legislation amount to protectionism?
    Trade
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • The crisis and the economic recovery have driven the public sector to intervene to support investment. One of the conduits has been that of the National Promotional Banks and Institutions (NPBIs) and the European Investment Bank, which have seen their capital bases and assets rising substantially. It is now a widely held position that an improvement in the economy will not eliminate the need for such financial intervention. But is this growing reliance on publicly supported finance really the best answer, or is the situation just the reflection of a need for structural reform?
    Finance
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • Is increasing inequality the root cause of Europe’s political problems? A close look at the data for continental Europe does not show a generalised trend of increasing inequality. Some indicators have worsened. Others have improved. Different countries show different evolutions. Why does evidence seem to contrast with people’s perception? Is Europe different from the United States?
    Economy
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    BILBAO

  • Digital data offers great opportunities – and difficulties for cross-border law enforcement. Much electronic information is stored outside the country where it is needed for purposes of countering crime and terrorism. In response, both the US and Europe are proposing new laws designed to compel companies holding the data to allow direct access. In the US, the new Cloud Act obliges companies to provide data stored on servers on request regardless of whether the data is stored in the US or abroad. The European Council and European Parliament are debating a similar proposal under the guise of the European Production Order or ‘e-evidence’. If a company accedes to a request from one country, it could be violating the law where the data is stored. This type of direct cooperation in access to electronic data poses profound challenges to the notion of jurisdiction and often leads to conflicts of laws between the countries concerned. It also raises challenges from the perspective of the right of defence in criminal proceedings and privacy standards. How can these issues and conflicts be overcome in a rule of law and trust-based framework?

    This session is organised in the context of the JUD-IT (Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters and Electronic IT Data in the EU: Ensuring Efficient Cross-Border Cooperation and Mutual Trust) Project. The project counts with the financial support of the Justice Programme of the European Union.
    Rights & Security
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    PARMA

  • The current party landscape in the European Parliament will change as a result of the departure of British MEPs and the predicted loss of support for the established parties at the ballot in May. What new formations and coalitions are expected to form? Which parties are likely to support the former ‘grand coalition’? Does ALDE appear as kingmaker? How do these changes impact the EP’s policy agenda? Also, will populist and Eurosceptic parties gain support and can they be united enough to challenge the established camp?
    Institutions
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    SOLNA

  • The war in Syria is nearing its end. Should the EU pay to reconstruct a country still ruled by Bashar al-Assad? What should Europe’s policy be for dealing with Syrian refugees residing in neighbouring and European countries? How should Europe engage, if at all, with the Assad regime, which is likely to remain in power, and hold those responsible for war crimes to account? In the build-up to the third “Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria” that will take place in the last week of March 2019, this Lab session looks into the role that the EU will have in shaping the final outcomes of the Syrian conflict.
    Europe in the world
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    THESSALONIKI

  • The Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future EU-UK relationship gives an indication of what the economic partnership between the EU and the UK should – or could – look like: an ambitious free trade area that ensures no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions and which includes ambitious arrangements in the area of services and establishment and combines deep sectoral, regulatory and customs cooperation. However, it remains unclear how trade and regulatory convergence can be guaranteed while leaving the single market. This Lab session will discuss the feasibility, scope and content of this envisaged economic partnership and will provide new proposals for the future framework of EU-UK trade relations.
    UK & the EU
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    STRASBOURG

  • The CAP is up for a mid-term review of the 2014-2020 policy regime as people are preparing for the next ‘reform’. One of the reasons why the debate is re-opening now is that the challenges facing agriculture after 2020 have evolved since the 2013 reform. In 2016, two major political events made the debate more urgent. The Paris Agreement on climate change set ambitious climate goals, which might be incompatible with industrial farming; while Brexit triggered implications for food and agriculture in the UK and beyond.
    Agriculture & Food chain
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    ANGERS

  • Introduction by Daniel Gros, Director, CEPS

    In his book Globotics, to be published in January 2019, Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, offers insights into the way digital technology is changing our society, driving inequality, unemployment, and populism. Digital technology is allowing talented foreigners to telecommute into our workplaces and compete for service and professional jobs. Instant machine translation is melting language barriers, so the ranks of these ‘tele-migrants’ will soon include almost every educated person in the world. Computing power is dissolving humans' monopoly on thinking, enabling AI-trained computers to compete for many of the same white-collar jobs. The combination of globalisation and robotics is creating the globotics upheaval, and it threatens the very foundations of the liberal welfare state.
    _Plenary Sessions
    Where
    TALLINN

  • Organized crime and corruption, political interference in the judiciary, and strong entanglements between public and private interests are eroding the rule of law in both the Western Balkans and Eastern Neighbourhood countries. This Lab session will assess common trends across the region, and, after recognising key challenges, will focus on how to counter the negative trends, paying specific attention to the role of the EU in supporting reform. This Lab session is organised in the context of the ENGAGE II Fellowship Programme, supported by a Grant from the Open Society Foundations.
    _Plenary Sessions
    Rights & Security
    Where
    SOLNA

  • From contract law to corporate governance, competition law to digital privacy, anticorruption policies to free trade, Europe has set global standards on regulation and business practices. How can the continent leverage this strength? A stronger Europe at home also means the possibility of becoming regulatory leaders in key areas such as emerging digital technologies. A recent CEPS project inspired by Dutch entrepreneur Donald Kalff analyses ten such hidden European gems, and presents proposed future actions to leverage their potential for a more competitive and equitable continent. Following a brief introduction to the report’s main messages, session participants will debate how these proposals can meet their goals.
    _Plenary Sessions
    Where
    BILBAO

  • Europe is still living with the political consequences of its response to the steep increase in arrivals of asylum seekers and other migrants in 2015 and 2016. The so-called ‘migration crisis’ has increased appetites for anticipation and more forward-looking policymaking at the EU level. The Joint Research Centre – the European Commission’s science and knowledge service – has recently completed a foresight project on the future of migration in the European Union. It proposes future migration scenarios for the EU and an innovative set of discussion tools to stimulate forward-looking debates about migration. The resulting report and a toolkit will be briefly presented in this session. Experts who contributed to the project will then discuss some of the key emerging questions related to future migration flows and possible policy responses.
    _Plenary Sessions
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • Extended producer responsibility (EPR) has been a key policy tool for improving the waste management performance across the EU. Across the EU different national schemes have been set up to implement the EPR principles; however, according to a number of studies, there are significant discrepancies in their performance. The recently revised legislative framework on waste aims to encourage the transition towards a circular economy and defines minimum requirements for EPR schemes. Such requirements also include the possibility of introducing modulated fees that take into account the durability, reparability, re-usability and recyclability of products. This event will focus on the new rules for EPR in Europe and their implementation by the EU member states. Some of the aspects to be addressed are the following: How can we avoid large discrepancies across the EU? What are the potential pathways for linking EPR with eco-design? How can modulated fees successfully be introduced in the national EPR schemes? Which have been the successful examples at the member states level?
    Energy
    Where
    PARMA

  • There is no shortage of conflict areas in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood. In the region, which the EU wants to see as a “ring of stable, friendly states”, there are not only challenges that the neighbours themselves pose in their strategic orientation and due to varying degrees of transformation, but also uncertainties or unpleasant truths about the motivations and strategic goals of Russia, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. It goes without saying that the EU’s neighbourhood policy focuses primarily on the interests of its neighbours, but the reforms proposed by Brussels are often at odds with the motivations and measures of these ‘key states’. They are not concerned with the rule of law and fundamental rights, stability or structural reforms in neighbouring countries. This has intensified conflicts of values and interests. It is important to correctly classify the interests of the neighbours on the other side of the common neighbourhood and to understand how they affect political and social developments in the region. The same applies to the interdependencies between the EU and these key states and between these key states themselves. Independent country experts present their analysis of these key states and the objectives of their policies and are ready for debate.
    Europe in the world
    _Breakfast Sessions
    Where
    SOLNA

  • In late January 2019, the International Labour Organisation’s Global Commission on the Future of Work released its conclusions on how to respond to transformations in the world of work. The commission, co-chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, believes the challenge can be met by a “human-centred agenda” focused on investing in people’s capabilities, strengthening the institutions of work and investing in decent and sustainable work. But is this sufficient? In his new book, "Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development: Transforming the Industrial State," MIT’s Nicholas Ashford, fears the digital revolution will lead to a jobs shortfall and suggests additional policy initiatives needed to address purchasing power and income inequality.
    _Breakfast Sessions
    Where
    TALLINN

  • Made in China 2025 is a massive state-led manufacturing upgrading programme launched by China’s State Council. It aims for technology self-sufficiency and to surpass the present American, European and Japanese technological leaders. Beijing has identified 10 strategic sectors, ranging from aerospace and fast-speed railway equipment to numerical control tools and robotics, and from renewable energies and electrical vehicles. If it succeeds, China will not only become a giant in new-generation manufacturing, but also attain dominance of the Internet through its infrastructure equipment and technology – with economic, military and intelligence benefits, as well as soft power. How should Europe respond to the challenges arising from Made in China 2025? What is the vision of the present world leaders in technology for new-generation manufacturing?
    Trade
    _Breakfast Sessions
    Where
    BILBAO

  • Irregular migration continues to influence policy discussions in the EU and member states. At the same time as much effort is devoted to reducing irregular migration, member states are intensifying their search for workers outside the EU as a consequence of a dwindling labour force. Would more opportunities for legal migration for low-to-medium-skilled workers help reduce irregular migration – either because potential migrants would have a legal option or because African governments would have more incentives to curb irregular migration? Are there synergies with the objective of faster development on the African continent? What role, if any, for the European Commission and African partners in this process?

    This session is organised in the context of the Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM) project.
    _Breakfast Sessions
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • While overall trade in goods stagnates, trade in digital services is booming and now accounts for almost a quarter of world trade. Last year, Bertelsmann published a study showing that this trend could result in dramatic economic shifts within Europe. While Ireland was grabbing new digital opportunities and ranked first, manufacturing heavy Germany was not and ranked only 19th out of 28. This year, a new study attempts to explain why and identify what domestic policies facilitate or hinder the adoption of new digital services – and what policies can support productivity growth and better use of digital business models.
    _Breakfast Sessions
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • In our data-driven society, cyberwarfare is escalating. Russia launched cyber offensives on the US Democratic Party in 2016 and has attempted to destabilise and influence European elections. Democracy is challenged today by the mass-production of fake news. Tomorrow it will be threatened by the manipulation of digital information through advances in artificial intelligence. Could Europe’s democracy be hacked? How is Europe defending the integrity of its elections and preventing the erosion of democratic values?
    Digital Economy, Regulation & Innovation
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    TALLINN

  • Today, electricity accounts for about a quarter of Europe’s energy. Within three decades, electricity is expected to account for three quarters of energy. How can we meet this soaring demand – and while meeting climate change goals? And what other low carbon alternatives are available to complement this high electricity share? How can Europe best meet these ambitious energy goals, while remaining competitive? Will Europe’s example spur others to reach ambitious low carbon goals?
    Energy
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    LJUBLJANA

  • Against the background of increasing trade conflicts, unilateralism and challenges to the rules-based multilateral trading system, the WTO is in an existential struggle to remain a credible basis for international trade. Whereas the US blockage of Appellate Body appointments and the prospective breakdown of the dispute settlement mechanism at the end of 2019 has attracted most of the attention in this debate, other issues such as the position and conduct of state-owned enterprises, the Special and Differential Treatment for developing countries and the modernisation of the WTO’s substantive and procedural rules urgently need to be addressed. As a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system, the European Commission published a first set of ideas for modernising the WTO in September 2018, which also accommodates some US critiques of the system. Moreover, the EU is engaging with like-minded WTO Members such as Japan and Canada to push its reform agenda, but its proposals received a lukewarm reaction from the US while China is preparing its own – different – reform proposals. This Lab session will explore whether the EU’s proposals are balanced and realistic, and how they are feasible in the broader context of the US-China trade dispute.
    Trade
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • Technology is the trait d’union between productivity growth and labour markets. In the last decades, technology failed to deliver higher productivity growth while leading to the emergence of new jobs and new ways of working. The combination of low productivity growth and changes in the structure of labour market raise challenging questions for policymakers. Will technology finally result in higher productivity growth? Will it lead to jobless future or just to different jobs? What could the EU and national governments do to revive productivity growth and make sure people benefit from the change?
    Economy
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    BILBAO

  • The fight against ‘migrant smuggling’ has become a key political priority for the EU in response to the ‘European Humanitarian Refugee Crisis’. EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies are tasked to investigate, prosecute and dismantle organised criminal groups that are profiting from migrant smuggling. There have been increasing numbers of cases where EU citizens, volunteers and civil society representatives have been prosecuted or charged with crimes when helping asylum seekers gain access to humanitarian assistance. How do EU and national anti-migrant smuggling policies affect solidarity and the provision of humanitarian assistance by citizens and civil society actors to asylum seekers and immigrants? What are the effects on the freedoms of assembly, speech and conscience for European citizens? What are the broader implications – for societal trust, democracy and the rule of law?

    This session is organised in the context of the ReSOMA Project (Research Social Platform on Migration and Asylum). The project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
    Rights & Security
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    PARMA

  • The EU is often portrayed as an elite-driven project, far too remote from ordinary people. But such assessments may overlook the possibilities for active participation by civil society at both national and European levels. What opportunities do EU citizens have to influence European decisions? Are any participatory instruments silver bullets? Under what conditions could existing or new participatory mechanisms strengthen representative democracy and bring European citizens closer to their political institutions?
    Institutions
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    SOLNA

  • Back in 1995, the EU signed an ambitious agreement to promote regional cooperation with its South Mediterranean neighbours. After some initial progress, the cooperation process appeared unable to meet expectations in terms of growth and development. Both shores of the Mediterranean suffer from slow growth and high unemployment rates, especially among the youth. Should the EU kickstart its engagement in the region? What cooperation is necessary to foster job creation? How can we create opportunities for youth in the region? What role for education?

    This session is organised in the context of EMNES - Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies.
    Europe in the world
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    THESSALONIKI

  • Police, judicial authorities, and criminal lawyers need a clear legal framework in order to sustain cooperation with their colleagues and counterparts across the channel. For any future agreement with the EU to work in the fields of security and criminal justice, a number of EU legal benchmarks must be met. Is the UK willing to implement relevant EU defence rights acquis from which it opted out as a EU member state? Is the departing country ready to meet the data protection standards required to sustain cross-border data-gathering and intelligence sharing with its EU partners after Brexit?
    UK & the EU
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    STRASBOURG

  • Since the Franco-German Meseberg declaration in June 2018 and the November 2018 proposal on the architecture of a Eurozone Budget, there has been an intense debate about suitable instruments to promote countercyclical stabilisation, competitiveness and convergence in the eurozone. This EconPol Europe Lab Session will discuss the opportunities and risks of recent policy initiatives such as an unemployment re-insurance scheme or tools incentivising structural reforms in member states. Can these instruments deliver what their proponents promise? What would a compromise on EMU reform that could find support in all member states look like?
    EconPol
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    ANGERS

  • The supervision and crisis management framework for Euro area banks has been strengthened with the introduction of the Banking Union. Nonetheless, many important challenges remain, including the substantial amounts of non-performing loans on bank balances, the backstop for the resolution fund, liquidity in resolution, circumvention of the resolution mechanism, creation of a European deposit insurance scheme, etc. How should these challenges be addressed? Is there sufficient political support for these measures? If not, how can the support be broadened?
    Finance
    _Lab Sessions
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • Since the advent of the new US administration policy priorities seem to have diverged. The European side continues to emphasise the importance of cooperation and a rules-based global system. Tensions have emerged as the two sides seem far apart in terms of the need to combat climate change or to defend fundamental rights across the globe. Moreover, Europe perceives China much less as a geopolitical competitor, and more as an important market. But the one area where the US and the EU seem in direct conflict is trade. A truce has been established, but will it last? Will it be possible to find compromises in other areas as well, to re-establish the long-standing transatlantic partnership?
    Trade
    _Prime Talks
    Where
    SOLNA

  • The European Refugee Humanitarian Crisis that emerged in 2015 has shaken the EU’s foundations and brought into question its legitimacy in being able to ensure a common policy response towards the phenomenon of asylum seekers. This has taken place at a time when populism and extreme nationalism are rising in several EU countries and engaging in active anti-immigration discourses. It is to be expected that migration will be at heart of the upcoming European Parliament elections. This Prime Talk will take stock of EU responses to the crisis and discuss the roles that populism and public opinion may have played in terms of priority setting and the measures adopted. What specific ways are open to the EU in the area of migration and asylum to respond to populism, racism and xenophobia? And what is the state of public opinion in different member states about the EU and migration ¬– does it vary at the implementation and local level? Do any policy actions suggest a longer-term vision for the EU to adopt?

    This session is organised in the context of the ReSOMA Project. The project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
    Rights & Security
    _Prime Talks
    Where
    LJUBLJANA

  • The EU is founded on common principles of democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights. Over the past few years, several EU member governments led by Hungary and Poland have flouted these principles, limiting the independent press and packing the courts in what has been described as ‘rule of law backsliding’. Brussels has responded by opening legal cases against these countries, including launching Article 7 TEU procedure and initiating procedures before the Luxembourg Court. Still, the EU lacks a mechanism to permanently and regularly monitor member state compliance with the rule of law and fundamental rights after accession to the Union. Will this response be sufficient? What can the Court of Justice of the EU and national judges do before it gets too late, and judicial independence is challenged? How can we better equip EU civil society and concerned European citizens to protect the democratic debate embedded in EU values?

    This session is organised in the context of the ENGAGE II Fellowship Programme. The programme is supported by a Grant from the Open Society Foundations.
    Rights & Security
    _Prime Talks
    Where
    SOLNA

  • The EU has stepped up its cooperation with third countries to manage migration flows in Northern Africa and the Sahel. A number of both short and long-term measures (namely saving lives at sea/in the desert, combatting smugglers, tackling the root causes of migration, and sustainable development, respectively) are being implemented to reduce the number of irregular migrants. Yet, doubts are emerging about the sustainability and appropriateness of the current approach. Do the priorities and needs of the EU align with those of partnership countries? Is migration a top priority for African partner countries, or does it rank below other areas such as FDIs, trade facilitation and development aid? Do the priorities of African governments match with those of their citizens? Would wider access to legal migration pathways or strengthened development cooperation best serve the priorities of the stakeholders involved? Finally, how should funding instruments be framed? These and other issues will be discussed in this interactive session.

    This session is organised in the context of the Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM) project.
    _Prime Talks
    Where
    THE HAGUE

  • The European Commission unveiled a budget for 2021-2027 with the ambitious objective of reaching an agreement by May 2019, coinciding with the expected date of Brexit and before the new Parliament and Commission start. Can this be achieved? What does this budget propose that is a marked improvement on the previous one? What is the InvestEU Programme really?
    _Prime Talks
    Where
    FRANKFURT

  • More than ever before, European Parliament candidates in 2019 will attempt to reach voters via digital tools. Google’s EU Civics Outreach Fellow David Timis will offer a campaign training session full of tips on how to set up and manage a YouTube channel and how to leverage useful, free digital tools such as Google Trends, which they can use to better understand and target their key audiences. Given the different cyberattacks that have endangered elections in the past, David will also cover the basics of protecting a campaign online.
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • This interactive session will allow participants to learn about the Migration Discussion Toolkit developed by the EU Policy Lab of the Joint Research Centre as part of a project about the future of migration in the EU. The toolkit gathers practical guidelines and tools such as short 2030 migration scenarios and a serious game that help users discuss migration with a forward-looking perspective and in a broad socioeconomic context. These tools can be used to build or test approaches and strategies in the policymaking context as well as for awareness raising or educational purposes. The participants will have a chance to directly test the tools and get advice on their application in their own contexts.
    Where
    RIVERSIDE

  • Will Europe’s leaders be able to give Europe a new impetus at the forthcoming Sibiu Summit? What direction should the European Union take? What should be its guiding values? Should the EU open or close up against the multiple threats in a chaotic world? Should the member states re-assert themselves or do we need stronger European decision-making?
    _Plenary Sessions
    Where
    AUDITORIUM

  • Introduction by Daniel Gros, Director, CEPS

    Barry Eichengreen is the author of the recently published book The Populist Temptation. A distinguished economic historian, Eichengreen teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. His new book traces the history of anti-elite movements over the past two centuries in Europe and the United States. He shows how economic and political reforms can treat the populist authoritarian illness, citing, among others, Franklin Roosevelt’s successful New Deal. What medicine might work today? The Financial Times praised his new book for its “lucid analytical history” and proposing “a wide range of sensible reforms.”
    _Plenary Sessions
    Where
    AUDITORIUM