Europakarte mit Lupe und Fernglas darauf

Keeping a close watch on European democracy

The EU is giving citizens an unprecedented opportunity to participate in the development of European policymaking. In the course of the coming year, the “Conference on the Future of Europe” will allow citizens and politicians to discuss EU priorities using new citizen participation formats. Together with other foundations and think tanks, we have created a “Conference Observatory” to monitor and support this process. 

Contact Persons:

Foto Dominik Hierlemann
Dr. Dominik Hierlemann
Senior Advisor


The “Conference Observatory” for the Conference on the Future of Europe is a joint initiative of Bertelsmann Stiftung, the European Policy Centre, the King Baudouin Foundation and the Stiftung Mercator foundation. We will monitor the year-long conference, evaluate its impacts and contribute our ideas to the discussions. The aim of the Observatory is to ensure the success of the Conference on the Future of Europe by various means: overseeing the processes, contributing political input and recommendations for strategic priorities, and evaluating the possible consequences of the debates. We will also develop proposals for the future participatory and democratic design of the EU.

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a test of the EU’s ability to involve its citizens in the discussion, conduct an EU-wide debate on necessary reforms and consider what institutional structure will be appropriate for the decades to come. Citizens from all Member States and all walks of life will participate in new and – in many cases – unprecedented ways.

You will be able to find out more about developments at the Conference by looking at our publications, following us on Twitter and keeping up with the latest news on our website. We will also be staging regular “Conference Conversations”, 60-minute interactive online talk shows in which our experts, Conference insiders and distinguished guests will provide up-to-the-minute information and in-depth analyses of developments at the Conference. 

Link to website: Conference Observatory (

In the first round of our “Conference Conversations” on 16. June, our guests were Guy Verhofstadt MEP, former Belgian Prime Minister and Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and Mehreen Khan, the Brussels correspondent of the Financial Times. 

Find the video of the webinar here