Professor Nicolaidis’ talk will take place the day before the last plenary of the conference on the future of Europe and will present the state of play in the COFE. In a second stage, she will discuss the proposal for a permanent citizens assembly as a new pillar of European democracy, a proposal made by the citizens in the Citizens’ Panel which took place at EUI. She will ask how this transnational context is both similar and different from the use of stratified randomly selected Citizens' Assemblies across the world in the last decade. She will weigh both the promise (as creating the social conditions to tackle complex policy problems such as the climate emergency in addition to their intrinsic value for democratic renewal) and the criticism that arise especially as in terms of its connection to traditional representative democracy. She will address some design issue and discuss the political obstacles to such a development. Relevant background can be found under the EUI-STG transnational democracy observatory webpage.
On premise places are on a first come, first serve basis.
Conversations for the Future of Europe
In order to guide the steps of the European Union and in order to mobilize its citizens so as to make such steps possible, it is not enough to analyse the past and to criticize the present. It is crucial to concoct concrete proposals for a better future and to subject them to a no-nonsense, multidisciplinary discussion. The conversations for the future of Europe aim to contribute to such a discussion.
A concern for concreteness and political feasibility should be present throughout, the aim being, as in Robert Schuman’s 1950 declaration, "des reìalisations concrètes" rather than vague dreams. However, this should not prevent us from bearing in mind Max Weber’s warning at the end of Politik als Beruf : Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible. A concern for feasibility is compatible with boldness. Indeed, it may require it.