Citizens, Democracy and the European Union

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Democracy is the most important social innovation ever. Citizens are the cornerstone of any working democratic system. But to work properly democracy requires knowledge and interest in societal issues, active citizens who not only vote but are also ready to challenge political leaders. While EU integration is a unique process in world history, many seem to be estranged from it and uninterested in what is happening in Brussels and other European capitals.

This panel is organised by the Jean Monnet Network DebatEU ( The Network enhances debate through citizen focus groups, conferences, social media, publications and events. It seeks to generate a dialogue and better understanding of the EU among citizens. And it aims at learning from the citizens what are their reasons to feel distant to the EU.

The panel is chaired by Niilo Kauppi, research director at the University of Helsinki and member of the DebatEU network. Panelists include Anna Björk from Demos, MEP and vice-president of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala, Professor Johanna Kantola from the University of Helsinki, University Researcher Niko Pyrhönen from the University of Helsinki and Professor Claudia Wiesner from Fulda Hochschule and PI of the DebatEU network.
Period31 Mar 2023
Held atTiedekulma
Degree of RecognitionInternational