The future of democracy in Europe

8.30 – 9.00 | Registration

9.00 – 9.10 | Welcome address

  • Oliver RÖPKE, President of the EESC Workers' Group 

9.10 – 9.30 | Opening/keynote speech

  • Thierry BEAUDET, President of the ESEC, France

9.30 – 12.30 | Panel discussion: "Discrimination in Europe: faced with the evidence of failure, what are the prospects for action now?"

Moderated by Ozlem YILDIRIM, EESC Workers' Group member

  • Opening of the panel discussion by Claire HÉDON, Head of the French anti-discrimination authority "Défenseur des droits"
  • Ludovic VOET, ETUC Confederal Secretary in charge of discrimination matters
  • Sarah GANTY, Researcher at the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University and at the Yale Law School and visiting lecturer at the Central European University
  • Point of view of 2 national trade union organisations: Céline VERZELETTI, CGT Confederal Secretary, and Branislav RUGANI, CGT-FO Confederal Secretary for the International – Europe sector
  • Ioannis DIMITRAKOPOULOS, Head a.i. of the Equality, Roma and Social Rights Unit, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)


12.30 – 14.00 - Break

14.00 – 15.45 | Panel discussion: "Reflection on citizens’ participation. Challenges and opportunities for the EESC"

Moderated by Christophe QUAREZ, EESC Workers' Group member

Setting the scene: presentation of the studies on "EESC scenarios in 2040" and on "Making the EESC the facilitator and guarantor of participatory democracy activities"

  • Katharina SCHÖNEBERG & Sascha MEINERT, on "EESC scenarios in 2040"
  • Jan Bazyli KLAKLA & Agnieszka KULESA, on "Making the EESC the facilitator and guarantor of participatory democracy activities"
  • Albert RITZENTHALER, President of the CFDT group of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council


15.45 – 17.15 | Panel discussion: "Discussing democracy"

Moderated by Franca SALIS-MADINIER, EESC Workers' Group Vice-President

  • Petros FASSOULAS, Secretary General of the European Movement International
  • Helmut SCHOLZ, MEP, author of a report on Citizens’ dialogues and Citizens’ participation in the EU decision-making
  • Marylise LÉON, CFDT Deputy Secretary General


17.20 - 17.30 | Concluding remarks

  • Oliver RÖPKE, President of the EESC Workers' Group