Time to reclaim the centre stage

13 October 2017 - 09:30 - 14:00

The European project has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years. The financial and migration crises have fed into the rise of populism and the Brexit referendum, while the European institutions struggled to stay on course, live up to their ideals and engage with citizens. But the mood is changing across the continent. One year after the UK referendum, the latest surveys show that confidence is on the rise with a comfortable majority of citizens now optimistic about the EU’s future.

Over the last 12 months, pro-European parties have defeated nationalist counterparts in closely-watched elections in Austria, the Netherlands and France. In 2017 the European economy entered its fifth year of recovery – a recovery that is now reaching all member states, with good prospects for next year. And Donald Trump’s isolationist views across the Atlantic are giving Europe an opportunity to take a lead in foreign policy as the balance of power shifts eastwards.

Europe should now build on this new dynamic to keep the momentum going. As the driver of Europe’s capacity for transformation, innovation is key to creating a better Europe for citizens, securing competitiveness, growth and sustainability, and shaping our future. Europe’s innovation agenda will therefore be decisive in areas that will underpin its policies and prospects in the years ahead, ranging from climate change and education, to citizens’ engagement and digitisation.

In the form of ‘rapid-fire chat’ conversations, high-level figures will have the opportunity to provide a sense of these emerging trends for the next three to five years with a group of European Young Leaders. This meeting will be an excellent platform to discuss in a more intimate format some of the key issues addressed at the flagship State of Europe high-level roundtable. The ideas generated in this session will feed into Friends of Europe’s 2018 work programme to allow an extended outreach.

  • Moving beyond usual approaches to climate change
  • Investing in education as a source of economic growth and inclusion
  • How to enhance Europe’s engagement with the 4th Industrial Revolution?
  • Promoting citizens’ engagement as a safeguard to democracy in central Europe

Brussels is not Europe, and the discussions that take place here are far from representative of the issues that concern many of Europe’s citizens. Governments across the world are struggling with this disconnect as citizens show an increasing lack of trust in politics and politicians. 

09.00 - 09.30

Welcome breakfast and introduction

09.30 - 13.00

European Young Leaders & alumni meeting

13.00 - 14.00



With the support of





Registration for this event is only open to our network of European Young Leaders and alumni.

For general enquiries:
Jean-Yves Stenuick, Programme Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 25

Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.
Contact form
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Event starts
13 October