Civil society Days 2023

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EESC, JDE building, 1-3 March 2023

This year's Civil Society Days will shine a light on the fundamental role of civil society organisations in ensuring and safeguarding both social cohesion and resilient democracy in Europe.

This flagship EESC event will address the resurgent, existential threats to democratic values in Europe's fraught present. In today's permanently challenged political environment, public participation is often questioned or even threatened. At a time when attention is diverted elsewhere – first to COVID and now towards the war, the energy crisis and the twin transition – we must address such threats. Because after the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, democracy will never be the same again.

But how best to ensure that our democracy is fit for the future? In a series of full sessions and smaller workshops, participants will debate key questions for civil society organisations such as:

  • How do we see participatory and deliberative democracy in the future?
  • How can we democratise the European economy?
  • How should civil society be funded?
  • What do digital rights mean to citizens?
  • What skills do we need to enhance democratic participation?

Key speakers will include:

  • Christa Schweng, EESC president
  • Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography
  • MEP Sergey Lagodinsky
  • Colin Crouch, Warwick University, author of "Post-Democracy: After the Crises"
  • Courteney Mukoyi, a Zimbabwean award-winning lawyer and innovator, founder of Courtlex
  • Martha Barandiy, founder of Promote Ukraine

Over 500 participants have registered to this event, which is taking place fully in person for the first time since the COVID pandemic.

Read the full programme.

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