Conference Observatory

Insights, in-depth analysis, Ideas Papers News Comments Conversations Recommendations

The Conference on the Future of Europe Front and centre

About Us

The Conference Observatory, a joint initiative by an international consortium comprising the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the European Policy Centre, the King Baudouin Foundation, and the Stiftung Mercator aims to observe, analyse critically and inspire the deliberations on the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a citizen-led series of debates and discussions. In this first-of-a-kind pan-European democratic exercise, citizens from all across Europe are sharing their ideas on how to shape the future of Europe.


Dr. Dominik Hierlemann

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Expert


European Policy Centre
Director of Studies



Comments, Insights and Recommendations

What should the Conference look like? What are the main obstacles to success? How can citizen participation be effective and meaningful? With our publications we shed light on the set-up of the Conference, its proceedings, and its policy discussions.

Adding Ambition to Europe’s Unity

The war in Ukraine has shown that only by acting together can the European Union hope to remain an effective player. At the June 23-24 EU summit, the European Council should agree to establish a “Wise Wo|men Group” tasked with identifying core policy priorities and governance reforms. In this Open Letter, members of the Conference Observatory's High-Level Advisory Group put forward a proposal for such a Group, with recommendations on how the EU 27 should respond to today’s transformative times by paving the way for an ambitious joint future.
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The Conference on the Future of Europe: From citizens’ recommendations to EU policy

On 29 and 30 April, the final Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) adopted its conclusions in 9 subject areas, consisting of 49 proposals and countless affixed measures. They are the culmination of an entire year of European Citizens’ Panels; plenary sessions; and local, regional and national events and engagement on the multilingual digital platform. By all the different means available in the Conference context, people from all over the EU have weighed in on crucial policy questions, including climate change, democracy, digitalisation, foreign affairs, migration and well-being. Citizens, alongside politicians and other stakeholders, were able to express their ideas about how the Union should deal with current and future challenges.

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After the Conference on the Future of Europe – Moving into a new era

Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine is a watershed moment for Europe, challenging many of our fundamental assumptions. When the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) comes to an end on 9 May, EU institutions must not only decide on the follow-up to this exercise but, more fundamentally, give direction to the future of the European project. It will require more than just a few well-intended Sunday speeches. The multiple consequences of the new era we live in have increased the urgency of policy reforms as well as institutional innovations in different areas. But the exact direction of travel is clearer in some areas (e.g. energy independence from Russia) than in others (e.g. future of EU defence or democratic reform).

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EventS & Multimedia

Past and future events, Conference Conversations, Reflections

In the interactive “Conference Conversations” our experts together with high-level guests talk about the latest developments in the Conference and discuss how the process can be improved. Find out more about our next events here.