The European Union has long been recognised as an areas of socioeconomic wellbeing, the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Unfortunately, anti-democratic political options are growing, so-called illiberal democracies are on the rise and space for civil society is shrinking. The conference will discuss what should be done to protect democracy and the key pillars of democratic control (independent judiciary, critical civil society, independent media and independent institutions). The debate will further focus on solidarity in practice as a core EU value and its role in and relevance for EU migration and asylum policy, both regionally and globally. The panel discussion will try to explore the following question: how can the EU's policy dimension and the EU's civic solidarity dimension be reconciled, to provide a sustainable, values-based response to intense global migration? The last panel on the Green Deal for Europe: the role of environmental CSOs will take into consideration existential environmental crises, with high levels of inequality, both within the EU and globally, and will try to reply to the question "What role can the environmental movement, especially civil society organisations, play in the development and implementation of this hopefully transformative agenda for the EU"?
The findings of the conference will be used in preparing EESC explanatory opinions requested by the Croatian Presidency, namely: The effects of campaigns on participation in political decision-making and Financing the transition to a low-carbon economy and the challenges in financing climate change adaptation.