Felix Fend, Clara Vecino Prieto and Paulina Agudelo Velazquez are the authors of this article. They are students in EU Studies and members of the Student Association of the IEE. They worked on the organization and communication activities for the debate on the Future of Europe this year. 

Starting with the preparation already in December 2022 at College of Europe in Bruges, the students from both institutes worked within different groups on concrete proposals for fife major issues with high relevance for the future of Europe over the course of the last academic year. Those proposals were ultimately presented at the actual debate this June.

Before the students deep dived into the concrete proposals, they were once again reminded of the value and importance of this exchange and debate between the IEE and the College of Europe by the distinguished opening speakers.

Prof. Anne Weyembergh, Vice Rector of the ULB, Federica Mogherini, Rector of the College of Europe and former High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission, Prof. Ramona Coman, President of the IEE and Prof. Michele Chang, Permanent Professor of the European Political and Governance Studies Department (CoE) emphasized the dire need of critical debate and fresh proposals by the youth to forge the future of Europe in a positive and creative manner.

The actual proposals were discussed within the framework of five panels, each panel topic represented by a notable guest expert giving concrete feedback to the student’s proposal presentation.

The expert panels

The Panels and the assigned experts were the following:

  • #1 Panel: EU democracy, rule of law and youth participation, represented by Prof. Alberto Alemanno, Professor at HEC Paris and the College of Europe, cofounder of The Good Lobby
  • #2 Panel: Human rights and migration with input from Dr. Juliette Dupont, Research fellow at the Initiative de recherche sur l’immigration, Concordia University, Canada
  • #3 Panel: Security, defense and energy security, with valuable guidance from Dr. Constantinos Hadjisavvas, Project Manager leading Climate Security and Energy at the European Defense Agency
  • #4 Panel: Climate change, environment, and health with political insights by MEP Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA
  • #5 Panel: Economic resilience, digital transformation and welfare, with Prof. Amandine Crespy, Professor at the ULB and College of Europe, Deputy Director of the Centre d’Étude de la Vie Politique (CEVIPOL)

In the aftermath, the students had their well-deserved lunch break in the sunny IEE garden which provided them some time to exchange and reflect on the valuable feedback given by the guest experts.

Future of Europe: time to reflect

The second part of the event was all about the students – leaving them the time and space to intensively debate the proposals worked out by the different groups among them and at the same time finalize the writing process of the final book of recommendations while considering the suggestions of the guest experts.

The event was concluded with a student gathering at the IEE garden while sharing a verre de l’amitié to celebrate the successful outcome of the work achieved by the students of both the IEE and the College of Europe.

The experience

Finally, we asked – What do the students, both from the IEE and the College of Europe, think about this experience ?

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Una publicación compartida por Institut d’études européennes (@iee_bruxelles)