While democracy’s core values are widely popular, many liberal-democratic systems find themselves under immense pressure: Democratic processes are being misused to enforce autocratic political regimes in many of Germany´s partner countries, simultaneously explicitly populist movements have been gaining vast momentum all over Europe. Additionally, basic trust into democratic institutions and their representatives seems to be crumbling in many places.
Within the framework of our democratic governmental system, political parties, nongovernmental organisations, as well as societal initiatives will play a central mediating role between the state and the public in the future. For political parties to stay attractive and be able to continuously shape the political system, they have to adjust to changing framework conditions and find new ways of codetermination for their followers. Furthermore, new concepts are necessary to guarantee participation of all members and followers in the political process. Besides these different types of societal engagement, changes in institutional arrangements also play a central role. Strengthening parliaments, ministries and administrations as a representative democracy’s core institutions, as well as discussing their alterability, will be crucial. Only in this manner can diverse societal interests be permanently and fairly balanced and populism countered.
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Europe takes part!: Launch of the New Funding Module of the European Hub for Civic Engagement Supporting Arts and Culture in Europe
On January 25, 2022, a digital tool was launched to help civil society actors fund their projects. During the launch event, artists and policy-makers came together to talk about the current situation of cultural practitioners in Europe and to discuss visions for better supporting them.
After 16 years of watching and waiting, and in the face of enormous expectations, a new coalition government must quickly launch a new political era with a clear focus on the future.
New EU-Survey: What EU policies do citizens expect from the next German government? Study with representative survey by Johannes Hillje and Dr. Christine Pütz
As the general elections in Germany draw nearer, Angela Merkel’s time as Chancellor, and thus an era of German EU policy-making, is coming to an end. A new German government will step onto the EU policy stage. This year’s “Actually European!?” study examines the expectations that citizens have of the next German government’s EU policy. Moreover, the long-term study, now in its third year, surveys what Germans perceive to be the country’s role within the EU.
What challenges are the European art and culture scenes facing during the coronavirus crisis and what challenges will they face in the future? How can digital tools strengthen and protect cultural players here? These and other questions were discussed on 29 April 2021 at the digital summit “Europe takes part! A Summit on European Cultural Politics and New Digital Solutions” under the patronage of Michelle Müntefering. The focus of the summit was on strengthening cultural and creative workers in Europe.
Artists and cultural workers are among the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. While some countries have offered support, others have let their artists down. Especially independent creators without connections to well-established cultural institutions are struggling. In this Interview, Dr Michael Wimmer, a renowned political scientist, offers an overview of this sector’s current situation and future challenges. An industry that he predicts will permanently change due to the pandemic’s wave of digitisation.
What kind of policies are needed to support the European arts and culture scene? How can new digital spaces empower cultural actors across Europe? To answer these questions, Das Progressive Zentrum and the Goethe-Institut organised the “Europe takes part!” digital summit on 29 April 2021.
A new cooperation platform for civil society will launch its exploration phase on 1 March 2021. The “European Hub for Civic Engagement” will strengthen democracy in Europe by providing a digital infrastructure for activists and operatives of civil society organisations (CSOs). Since 2019, the “Hub” has been developed in an extensive consultation process involving hundreds of civil society actors from across Europe.
Common Values for the European Public Sphere The Third Episode of our Podcast Talking Progress.
Our new podcast Talking Progress dives headfirst into everything progressive. In its first series, we analyse what needs to be achieved to create a European Public Sphere. In its third episode, we have invited two guests to evaluate how Europeans appraise European values and why the European Union should implement civic education.
Civil Society Cooperation for the European Public Sphere The Second Episode of our Podcast Talking Progress.
Our new podcast Talking Progress dives headfirst into everything progressive. In its first series, we analyse what needs to be achieved to create a European Public Sphere. We have invited two guests to evaluate which role transnational activism can play in this and how the European Union should encourage and support civil society cooperation across European borders.
Media for a European Public Sphere The First Episode of Talking Progress.
Our new podcast Talking Progress dives headfirst into everything progressive. In its first series, we analyse what needs to be achieved to create a European Public Sphere. For this first episode, we have invited two journalists to reflect on cross-border journalism and media cooperation. Can these approaches boost the European Public Sphere?
A public sphere is not only created and stimulated through media or marketplaces – but also art and culture. Since they play such an important role in Europe and for connecting people, Das Progressive Zentrum felt like it was important to give them both a role at this Summit.
Over 100 participants discussed and debated future visions for Europe during the Daring New Spaces Summit on the European public sphere on 10 December. In keynotes and debates, and listening to pitches and poetry, the participants envisioned what Europe and its public sphere could and should look like in 2025. The event culminated with two project fellows interviewing Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth (DE) and Tiago Antunes (PT), Secretary of State Assistant to the Prime-Minister.
The interdependence of European solidarity, European cohesion and a European public sphere 2020 | Jana Puglierin
Beyond the doom and gloom that has dominated media coverage of the EU in recent years, there is another story to tell: the story of a strong and resilient European cohesion, which has held Europeans together like a powerful glue during the past decade of crises. Based on several data projects of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), Jana Puglierin sheds light on the interdependence of European solidarity, European cohesion and a European public sphere.
Individual countries will not be able to successfully address society’s current challenges. Only a solidarity-based and networked Europe can rise to the occasion. For this, we need new spaces and methods of collaboration to strengthen the European public sphere. Join us on 10 December, 2:00 – 5:00 pm CET as participants from around Europe come together to debate and discuss the Europe of tomorrow.
Innocracy aimed to bring the future back to the centre of political discourse. Speakers included Deborah Feldman, Amitav Ghosh and many more.
The focus of this working group will be the role of civil society, more specifically European civic cooperation in the European public sphere. Civil society actors can take the role of watchdog of European politics and push for the emergence of a European demos. By introducing a greater variety of actors, issues, and perspectives to the public discourse, civil society can make the European public sphere more diverse and lively. A strong European civil society facilitates communication between European politics and citizens.
The new project from Das Progressive Zentrum wants to develop future visions for a European public sphere and weave them into the goals for the European Council Trio-Presidency.
Trust matters more than self-interest: Our survey conducted among roughly 4,800 participants in April and May 2020 shows that the discussion about easing restrictions is not so much about the varying degrees to which individuals are affected, but rather about the degree of trust in public institutions in general.
The book “Creeping into Power” examines how the New Right instrumentalises history to gain the power to interpret our future. The book will be published in German in July. It is not only an analysis but a call to counter the misuse of history.
Das Progressive Zentrum signs the call “Learning from the crisis: empower civil society organisations!” and calls for an active digital ecosystem that offers real choices.