European elections 2024: Why vote?

XVI Connecting EU Seminar - 23-24 November 2023 - European Labour Authority (ELA), Bratislava

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in partnership with the Economic and Social Council of the Slovak Republic, will hold its annual civil society communication seminar – #ConnectingEU2023 – on 23-24 November 2023. This year's theme is: European elections 2024: why vote?

This year's Connecting EU seminar for civil society communicators will focus on the upcoming European Parliament elections and analyse what it will take to secure a high turnout.

The seminar will address three issues that may be the focus of the election debates in the months to come: disinformation, young voters and mobilising civil society to promote the importance of the European elections, exploring which communication channels work best to win the hearts and minds of Europeans.

The event will be opened by EESC President Oliver Röpke, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council of the Slovak Republic Monika Uhlerová, and the ELA's executive director Cosmin Boiangiu.

The seminar's keynote speaker will be Slovakian political analyst and president of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) in Slovakia Grigorij Mesežnikov. In the 2019 European elections, Slovakia had the lowest turnout of all Member States with only 22.74% of voters casting their ballots for their future MEPs. Why this was so and whether voters will be more motivated this time are among the questions to be broached by Mr Mesežnikov in his analysis on Slovakia: a case in point for European elections.



The Connecting EU seminar will feature three panels:

  • Disinformation and how to survive it in the 2024 "World Cup of elections"
  • Civil society and elections: winning hearts and minds of European voters
  • Pitching for the future: how to turn out young people



  • Rasťo Kužel, media and election expert, and executive director of MEMO 98
  • Nick Robins-Early, journalist writing for The Guardian, Insider, Huffington Post
  • Alice Stollmeyer, founder and Executive Director, Defend Democracy
  • Giovanni Zagni, chair of the European Digital Media Observatory's Task Force on the 2024 European Elections
  • Laura Sullivan - Executive Director at WeMove Europe
  • Małgorzata Molęda-Zdziech, professor at the Warsaw School of Economics, Institute of International Studies, Department of Political Studies
  • Dominika Hajdu, Director, Centre for Democracy & Resilience at GLOBSEC
  • Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee
  • Martine Clerckx, founder & associate director of Wide, professor of strategic planning at IHECS, Brussels
  • Ivana Dragičević, editor-at-large and reporter for N1 television/CNN exclusive news channel affiliate; Europe's Futures Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna
  • Corina Pirvulescu, senior programme management, public policy & campaigning with impact on electoral democracy, youth & digital governance
  • Nika Kovač, founding director, 8th of March Research Institute, Slovenia;

There will also be a presentation of the European Parliament's election campaign strategy by EP director for campaigns Philipp Schulmeister. The Jan Kuciak Investigative centre will also take part to speak about Slovakia: a playground for Russian propaganda.

The full line-up and detailed information about the speakers are available on our web page.

Full programme here.

The seminar will be web-streamed.

The aim of the Connecting EU seminar is to offer a platform where press and communication professionals from civil society organisations can network while discussing current issues of common concern affecting Europe. It brings together EESC members and other EU representatives, partner organisations from Member States, journalists and researchers to debate the hot issues of the day.

The EESC invites all interested media to follow the seminar and publish its conclusions.

The event is organised in collaboration with the European Parliament Office in Slovakia and the European Commission Representation in Bratislava, who will also speak at the event.

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