We are invitting you to the International conference on “The Future of European integration: challenges and opportunities for the European democracy ahead of the 2024 EP elections”. Conference will take place on 15-16 May 2024, in Hall ΙΙ KEDEA building, University campus, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The conference is co-hosted by the Double Degree Master Programme “European Studies” (ESIS) organized by the School of Political Sciences at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society at the University of Turin, the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and the Centre d’Etude de la Vie Politique (Cevipol) Université Libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.)

Conference objectives

Democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights are founding values of the EuropeanUnion. With local, regional, national and European elections, the EU and its Member States represent one of the deepest democratic experiences in the world and a model for other countries and regions. Free and fair elections are the foundation of democracy, and independent and transparent electoral processes are vital to a competitive electoral environment guaranteeing citizens’ trust and maximizing legitimacy.

Despite Jean Monnet’s dictum that European integration will be forged through crises, the multiple and profound crises within Europe and around the world during these last years pose a significant challenge to the founding values of the EU. Thesecrises test the Union’s institutional and policy limits and increase the politicization of the integration process. At the same time, though, they have exacerbated challenges to the democratic values and institutions of the EU and its Member States, bringing again to the limelight the EU’s often-cited democratic deficit. Promoting free and fair elections, strengthening media freedom, countering disinformation, and encouraging citizen and civil society engagement should thus become key priorities for all European, national and subnational policy actors. In parallel, the international context for democratic values is worsening as illiberal governance proposals are strengthened around the world and become attractive even within Europe. Against this backdrop,the coming 2024 European elections will be a crucial test case for the resilience of European democracy.

The conference intends to analyse, in an inter-disciplinary perspective, the challenges for Europe ahead of the June 2024 elections and the opportunitiesa new debate on the meaning of European democracy can provide both within Europe and as a model for the rest of the world.

More details are provided in the Conference’s Program below.

Stay tuned for more !

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