AdobeStock_342338291_KONZERN_ST-ZD_Ret_EN.jpg(© © bearbeitet: hkama, Cevahir -

Cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions: “From local to European”—Citizens’ Dialogues for the future of Europe

What do young Spaniards from Castilla-La-Mancha think about the future of the EU? How do citizens of the twin cities Munich and Bordeaux envisage the digital future of their home towns? What are the shared priorities of citizens of Pforzheim in Germany and Györ-Moson-Sopran in Hungary when it comes to European values and democracy? What support do citizens from EU border regions want—for example in Lower Silesia, Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic and Saxony in Germany? The Conference on the Future of Europe is a platform for European citizens to discuss the future of Europe at local, regional and transnational level. We support these dialogues.

AdobeStock_428229810_KONZERN_ST-ZD_bearbeitet.jpg(© © Roman -

Policy Brief: Promises kept – a final balance sheet for the German grand coalition, 2018–21

Parties and governments are better than their reputation. That includes Germany’s grand coalition: out of a total of 294 promises included in the 2018 coalition agreement, almost 80 percent were realized in full or in part. This is also reflected in surveys showing that people have significantly more trust in politicians to implement coalition agreements. For the new government, too, this represents an opportunity.

AdobeStock_296307684_KONZERN_ST-MT.jpeg(© © Rahul -

The New New Fellowship: The New New: Our first fellowship for inclusive digital futures concludes

Within the framework of “The New New” fellowship, 24 thought leaders in twelve projects from across Europe spent six months working on visions of inclusive digital futures. The fellows have provided very concrete opportunities and pathways with a wide range of content, formats and media that empower people in our digital world.

8696063480_b62efc453c_o.jpg(© Herman Van Rompuy / Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0,

Event: Herman Van Rompuy on the state of European Democracy: Be there

We invite you to an online discussion with Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the European Council. In our "Conference Conversation", we discuss the future of democracy in Europe with the Belgian top politician. The event is part of the "Conference Observatory", a joint initiative of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the European Policy Centre, the King Baudouin Foundation and Stiftung Mercator.

2020_03_02_Europawerkstatt-9302.jpg(© © Sebastian Pfütze)

Conference Observatory: 3rd Conference Conversation: Civil Society and Youth Engagement in the Conference

In anticipation of both the upcoming European Youth Event and the launch of the first of the Conference’s European Citizens’ Panels, this edition of Conference Conversations focused on civil society and citizen and youth engagement on the future of Europe.

_R8P4787_Bundestagswahl_2013_bear_EINWURF_2_2021..jpg(© © Thomas Kunsch)

Policy Brief: The “Corona Effect” - Why voter turnout could decline and become more socially divided following the pandemic

The social divide in voter turnout narrowed slightly in the 2017 federal election. The “Corona Effect” could change that at the 2021 federal election, reducing voter turnout as a long-term effect of the pandemic and widening the social divide once more.

pixabay_parliament-4842040.jpg(© Emer_Iglesias / Pixabay – Pixabay License,

Bulgarian Parliamentary Elections: No Majority against Corrupt Elites in Sight

In the second election attempt this year, there is still no sign that anti-corruption or anti-establishment parties will manage to replace the corrupt Bulgarian political elite. Will the EU finally do something to support the corruption-ridden Bulgarians?

shutterstock_1938533632_Premier_ST-ZD.jpg(© © Shutterstock / bepsy)

Conference Observatory: 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. 

2021_05_21_Jourova_pics_sr_3_of_12.JPG(© Bertelsmann Stiftung)

Event: EU Commission Vice-President 
Věra Jourová on digital participation in Europe 

The aim of the Conference on the Future of Europe is to offer citizens a completely new way of participating in EU policymaking. Along with a group of participation pioneers, we met Věra Jourová to discuss what digital participation should look like. The right tools, intelligible language and, above all, political impact are essential.  

AdobeStock_308429830_KONZERN_ST-EZ.jpeg(© © sergign -

Analysis: Ukraine and Moldova: Why is progress towards the rule of law so challenging?

In young and fragile democracies, the judiciary and public prosecutors are frequently instrumentalized for political gain. This is all the more damaging, given the key role played by judges and prosecutors in advancing the rule of law and the fight against corruption.