07 May 2019 - 17:00 - 19:00
Pascal Lamy, Alberto Alemanno, Caroline de Gruyter, Jakob Haesler, Martin Porter, Jamie Shea , Evelyn Huytebroeck, Andrea Vitolo, Dharmendra Kanani

#EuropeMatters aims to reinvigorate the relationship between citizens and the European project by creating a matrix of the choices and consequences for Europe. Our objective is simple – to mobilise a coalition of the willing united by their belief that #EuropeMatters and together ensure that Europe is better prepared to take strategic action to align the future we face with the future we want.

10 policy recommendations lie at the heart of #EuropeMatters, all underpinned by a call for a renewed social contract to reconnect Europe to its citizens through a sense of common purpose and public good. 

They reflect our work over the past 12 months with our Board of Trustees, senior stakeholder interviews and a survey of 500 policy makers. They are also informed by the views of our online citizens’ debating platform, Debating Europe. Using scenarios and data across a range of fields, the purpose of the report is to spark a debate on the future Europe.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash/Werner Du plessis

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#EuropeMatters is a 12 month project bringing together business leaders, policymakers, civil society representatives and citizens to co-design a Europe that still matters in 2030
17.00 – 17.30


17:30 – 19.00

What should be in the policy toolbox for the new EU Mandate?

Citizens are calling for a different and better Europe more aligned to their needs and their inclusion. Uncertainty and unpredictability appear to be the new order of the day, and are upturning the certainties that policy-makers have held for decades. The EU is in a delicate balance and the choices that it makes now will be decisive in setting its path for years to come.

But there is a silver lining.  The big message from the 11,000 people we surveyed is that with a shift in focus, Europe can still matter to them. Citizens want a renewed social contract that promotes economic growth, peace, security and sustainability for all – a contract that can be the glue that binds together citizens, government, the private sector and civil society in the belief that Europe matters, and that a strong, united Europe can deliver the right responses to take on the challenges we all face. 

Citizens want a new ‘Vision for Europe’. 

Friends of Europe will present its ‘Vision for Europe’ report setting out 10 ambitious policy recommendations and a pathway for the next EU leadership. This report aims to map the road ahead on how to construct a Europe fit for purpose in the 21st century.

  • Can the EU increase citizen participation and harness the potential of technology to open markets and secure inclusive and sustainable growth? 
  • Will it take measurable action to preserve the planet and make better use of resources? 
  • How will Europe rethink its relations with its neighbours and better explore mutually advantageous solutions to international issues? 
  • More importantly, can the EU implement a renewed social contract that puts citizens’ needs at the forefront of its priorities? What can it do to make itself matter in the future? 

Presentation of the New Vision for Europe by
Pascal Lamy
, Trustee of Friends of Europe, Honorary President of Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute, and Former Director General of the World Trade Organisation
Interventions from the ‘Vision for Europe’ authors:
Alberto Alemanno, EU Law Professor HEC, Founder of the Good Lobby and European Young Leader
Caroline de Gruyter, Author and EU Correspondent at NRC Handelsblad
Jakob Haesler, Founder of Project Alloy and European Young Leader
Martin Porter, Executive Chair at Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)
Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO (2010-2018)

And reactions from member states and political parties:
Evelyn Huytebroeck, Member of European Green Party Committee
Andrea Vitolo, First Counselor to the Diplomatic Advisor to Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy

Moderated by
Dharmendra Kanani
, Director of Insights at Friends of Europe


End of debate

Pascal Lamy
Trustee of Friends of Europe, former EU Commissioner and Director General of the World Trade Organisation
Pascal Lamy is a French politician and author. As a Member of the French Socialist party, he was Chief of Staff for the President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors. Afterwards, he returned to Brussels to become the European Trade Commissioner and then served for two consecutive terms as General Director of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In a 2014 poll cast by the British magazine Prospect, he was named as one of the top 50 of the world’s leading thinkers.
Alberto Alemanno
EU Law Professor HEC, Founder of the Good Lobby and European Young Leader
Alberto Alemanno is an academic, author and activist. Through his civic start up, The Good Lobby, and his involvement in other campaigns, Alemanno has long called for a democratisation of the EU and developing innovative forms of civic engagement. His book, ‘Lobbying for Change: Find Your Voice to Create a Better Society’, is a call to action for ordinary citizens to inform policy decisions at the local, national and international level. Alemanno has been featured in The Economist and The New York Times, to name a few, and is also a regular contributor to leading publications such as Le Monde, Bloomberg and Politico Europe.
Caroline de Gruyter
Author and EU Correspondent at NRC Handelsblad
Caroline de Gruyter is a well-known European affairs correspondent for the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, currently based in Oslo. She is a regular commentator on the rise of populism, the use of the Internet in counter anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic messages on what the EU and its member states can do to create a greater sense of unity. An author of several books on Europe, she has been awarded three prestigious Dutch prizes and the Prix du Mérite Européen for political reporting of exceptional quality.
Jakob Haesler
Founder of Project Alloy and European Young Leader
As a successful entrepreneur, Jakob Haesler recently founded Project Alloy, a series of conferences aimed at providing the knowledge and financial resources to young individuals in the aim of building a more inclusive technical community. Haesler was previously the CEO and Co-Founder of Tinyclues SAS, a Paris-based software start up established in the aim to industrialise datamining on Big Data. Haesler is also a founding partner of the “Cercle du Leadership", which brings together leaders in the aim of sharing and promoting innovative visions and actions in the field of management and leadership.
Martin Porter
Executive Chair at Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)
Throughout his carreer, Martin Porter has founded and headed numerous well-established initiatives. Having previously held the role of executive director at the European Climate Foundation (ECF), with a particular focus on the ECF’s EU and industrial innovation strategy, Porter has also led I24C, an initiative looking at sustainable industrial innovation and competitiveness. His experience also includes co-founding Brussels’s first 'think-do tank', known as The Centre; senior positions at Edelman, where he was General Manager of the Brussels office and Chair of the European Public Affairs Practice; and Senior Advisor on sustainability, industry and innovation at FTI Consulting Strategic Communication.
Jamie Shea
Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO (2010-2018)
Retiring from NATO in September 2018 after 38 years at the organisation, Jamie Shea has occupied a number of senior positions at NATO across a wide range of areas, including external relations, press and media, and policy planning. As NATO’s spokesperson, he was the face of the Alliance during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. He later worked as the Director of Policy Planning in the private office of former Secretary General Rasmussen during the preparation of NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept. Shea is also a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs.
Evelyn Huytebroeck
Member of European Green Party Committee
Evelyne Huytebroeck is a Local Councillor in Brussels and a member of Parlement of the Brussels-Capital Region. Having joined the Belgian Green party Ecolo in 1982, she was first elected to Parliament in 1989. After serving as co-president of the party from 2002 to 2004, Huytebroeck was Regional Minister for Environment, Energy, Urban Regeneration, Youth and Aid to Individuals from 2004 to 2014. Huytebroeck has been actively involved in the Covenant of Mayors, taking on the role of Vice-president for two city-networks, Energycities and ICLEI, from 2010 to 2015.
Andrea Vitolo
First Counselor to the Diplomatic Advisor to Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy
Andrea Vitolo is the First Counselor to the Diplomatic Advisor to the Italian Prime Minister. In addition to having spent several years in the Italian ministry of Foreign Affairs, including in the Balkans Unit as National Representative for the Adriatic-Ionian and for the Alpine Macro-regional Strategies, Vitolo has served in several Italian embassies. His positions include that of Head of the Economic Section at the Italian Embassies to United Arab Emirates and to Austria, as well as overseeing the Political Section in Berlin.
Dharmendra Kanani
Director of Insights at Friends of Europe
Dharmendra Kanani has been in senior leadership roles in the Public and Voluntary sectors across the UK and Europe over a period of 26 years. In 2005, he was appointed as Director of Scotland of the Big Lottery Fund. Subsequently, from 2010 to 2014, Kanani was the England Director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK. Since 2016, he has supported Friends of Europe’s strategic development across all its policy areas with a strong focus on Climate and Energy; Peace, Security and Defence as well as Digitalisation. Prior to this role, Kanani was the European Foundation Centre’s (EFC) first Fellow in July 2014. 

Chahaiya Pilkington, Programme Executive
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 26

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