Europe finds itself confronted with challenges of a magnitude it has not experienced since the crises of the 1930s. Trust in institutions is faltering, social capital is eroding, economic growth is in question, demographic decline is pronounced in some countries, nationalism is growing and the fear of the “other” in whichever guise is seen as endangering one’s sense of community and identity. Citizens of Europe are feeling that they are losing what Machiavelli called the vivere civile, vivere libero: civic participation coupled with a sense of possibility to voice their views in the sphere of the political. It is of the essence to create a space to understand the current dynamics and to bring people from the different corners of Europe to speak and listen to each other on the enumerated challenges. Beyond reacquiring a sense of certainty it is imperative to open the path to a future, to solutions that can make these societies prosperous again. Keen to explore some of those paths, in 2018 IWM and ERSTE Foundation (Vienna) entered a partnership to create the Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action project as a novel resource at the intersection of academia, civil society and politics.
IWM Permanent Fellow Ivan Vejvoda directs the Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action project and its programme of in-depth research leading to policy proposals, publications or direct action on topics of interest such as deterioration of rule of law and democracy in the European Union, the nexus of migration and borders and the unfinished enlargement of the European Union. In the academic 2020/21 Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action welcomed its third cohort of fellows, expanding the network of closely-knit and committed Europeans brought together by the project to 27 exceptional individuals.
On Europe's Futures - Ideas for Action we also undertake to add quality to the public debate in Austria, other EU member states and candidate countries on issues crucial to the future of Europe. To this end and in cooperation with fellows, alumni and a network of institutional partners, the project organises and supports conferences, debates, expert meetings and other impactful public events.
Video: the annual symposium of the 2019/20 Europe's Futures fellows, held Monday 29 June 2020
Europe’s Futures Project Manager