The EU is facing a challenging moment: Euroscepticism is spreading, and citizens can feel distant from the European project. This is why our Working Group aims to ‘open the doors’ of the Institute and connect the EUI with civil society at large. Too often, civil society and academia are considered as distant worlds that might not speak the same language and are therefore not intelligible to one another. We believe that this can and should be changed. Our initiative pursues the twofold objective of making civil society benefit from the skills and knowledge of EUI researchers, and providing young, engaged academics – from every department – with a ‘civil society perspective’ on their research topics.
In practice, the purpose of this Working Group is thus to organize public debates, conferences, roundtables and other forms of deliberative/participatory experiences with citizens, local associations, schools and other institutions on the current challenges of the EU: democracy, environment, gender equality, human rights, migration, social policy, etc. For the time being, we work ‘locally’, but this will not prevent our WG from going beyond Tuscany or Italy in the future.
Ponte Europa and its predecessor WG, Engaged Academics, are thankful for the generous support of Prof. Federico Romero (History Department).