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What kind of Europe do you dream of? Civil society and the Conference on the Future of Europe

"Connecting EU" Seminar • 18-19 November 2021 - Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Thursday 18 November 2021

8.30 – 9.30 a.m. Registration and Welcome Coffee

9.30 – 10.10 a.m. Welcome session

  • Chair and introduction: Cillian Lohan, EESC Vice-President for Communication

Opening speeches:

  • Christa Schweng, EESC President
  • Francisco Assis, President of the Economic and Social Council of Portugal, former Member of the European Parliament
  • Elza Pais, member of the Portuguese Parliament, , former Secretary of State for Equality  - The role of women in the debate on the future of Europe
  • Daniel Rosário, head of Communication and spokesperson, European Commission Representation in Portugal -  How the CoFoE platform works

10.10 – 10.30 a.m. Keynote speech - The Conference on the Future of Europe: what's in it for civil society?

  • Miguel Poiares Maduro,  Professor, Universidade Católica Portuguesa and School of Transnational Governance of the European University Institute, Florence, Italy  -

10.30 – 11 a.m. Coffee break

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Panel I – The health crisis and its impact on the future of Europe

Moderated by: Raquel Morão Lopes, journalist, European Affairs specialist at RTP (Radio and Television of Portugal)

Introduction to the topic: Stefano Mallia, President of the EESC Employers' Group


  • Isabelle Marchais, EU health expert at the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris
  • Małgorzata Bonikowska, President and co-founder of  THINKTANK, Polish analytical centre for International Relations
  • Lorenzo Consoli, ASKA NEWS, Brussels correspondent
  • Anniek de Ruijter, co-initiator of the European Health Union Manifesto initiative and associate professor of Health Law and Policy, University of Amsterdam

1 – 2.30 p.m. Lunch

2.30 – 4.30 p.m. Panel II – A stronger economy, social justice and jobs - What's Europe got to do with it?

Moderated by: Mónica Silvares, journalist, ECO - Economia online

Introduction to the topic: Oliver Röpke, President of the EESC Workers' Group


  • Francesco Corti, associate researcher, Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels and adjunct professor, University of Milan
  • Michael Sauga, DER SPIEGEL Brussels correspondent
  • Xenia Kounalaki, head of Kathimerini's foreign news desk
  • Susana Peralta, Associate professor, Nova School of Business and Economics, Portugal

4.30 – 5.30 p.m. Exchange of views with press officers from civil society organisations

8 – 10 p.m. Networking dinner

Friday 19 November 2021

9.30 – 10 a.m. Registration and coffee

10 – 10.15 a.m. Opening

Cillian Lohan, EESC Vice-President

Ana Rita Moura, European Parliament –  The structure of the Conference on the Future of Europe and the citizens' panels  

10.15 a.m. – 1 p.m. Panel III – European democracy How can we buttress press freedom in Europe against looming multiple threats?

Moderated by: Bruno Kaufmann, global democracy correspondent at SWI and Northern European Correspondent, SRF News, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation

Introduction to the topic: Seamus Boland, President of the EESC Diversity Europe Group


  • Matthew Caruana Galizia, journalist, director and co-founder, Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation
  • Julie Majerczak, head of Brussels office, Reporters without Borders
  • Anthony Bellanger, secretary general of the International Federation of Journalists
  • Andrzej Stankiewicz, political correspondent, deputy editor-in-chief of ONET.PL
  • Márton Kárpáti, journalist, Hungarian news portal TELEX, former deputy editor in chief at
  • Zuzana Kovačič Hanzelová, journalist, SME, Slovakia

1 – 1.10 p.m. Close

  • Cillian Lohan, EESC Vice-President

Simultaneous interpreting in English, French and Portuguese.