Connecting EU 2022

Geopolitical turmoil at Europe's door: the perspective of civil society

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The EESC's annual seminar for civil society communicators will zoom in on the impact of the war in Ukraine on the EU, addressing three thorny issues: Energy, EU enlargement and Communication.

Russia's aggression against Ukraine is having a huge impact on Europe's society and economy and may bring about tectonic shifts in its political economic and social landscape. The seminar will explore its likely repercussions in the near and more distant future, focusing on three areas of major interest to civil society organisations :

  • Energy: as the EU turns its back on cheaper Russian gas and oil and European industry and workers come under strain, what can EU countries do to help people weather the storm? Will they be tempted to revert to highly polluting coal or will this speed up a green transition? Can the EU successfully lead its countries out of this crisis?
  • EU enlargement: will the war change the course of EU enlargement? How prepared is Ukraine, now a candidate country, to join the EU? How fair is this special treatment on candidate countries that have been waiting in Europe's lobby for years? And how does the prospect of a European geopolitical community fit into all this?
  • Communication: one of the key weapons in this war, communication is making use of all the new potential made available by technology. Whether we look at Kremlin-backed disinformation campaigns and cyberattacks or at actor-turned-hero President Zelensky winning over democratic parliaments, there are plenty of new developments that are of huge interest to communication professionals. Who is winning this communication war? And how is the EU coping with the new wave of disinformation coming its way?

Our speaker line-up features leading opinion makers in these areas, including:

  • Galia Ackerman, French-Russian journalist, writer and historian, translator of Anna Politkovskaya's work;
  • Tim Weber, online disinformation specialist and creator of BBC online;
  • Régis Genté, co-author of the book 'Volodymyr Zelensky: in the mind of a hero';
  • Dušan Gajić, long-term Brussels correspondent for Radio Television of Serbia on EU-Serbia relations and author of the award-winning documentary The Graduates;
  • Zion Lights, British science communicator and former Extinction Rebellion spokesperson.

The seminar is part of the "Connecting EU" series, now in its 16th year, which aims 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 Connecting EU 2022 seminar is being organised in partnership with the Economic and Social Council of Croatia.

The event is by invitation only, but a few places are available for interested stakeholders. To obtain an invitation please write to: pressofficersateesc [dot] europa [dot] eu.