About us

Who we are

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.

The European Union faces major transformational challenges such as climate change, digitalisation, a fragile global order and the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. In an environment of continuing uncertainty and crisis, the EU must demonstrate it is capable of critical self-reflection and renewal. The Conference on the Future of Europe could and should be used to this end.

The Conference is also a test case for the EU’s ability to include its citizens in the conversation, have an EU-wide debate about necessary reforms, and think about the right institutional structure for the decades ahead. The involvement of people from all member states, and  from all walks of life,  is new and, in many ways, unprecedented.

The Observatory aims to make the Conference a meaningful and successful endeavour by monitoring its proceedings, providing policy input and recommendations on the strategic priorities that citizens will discuss, and assessing the potential institutional and legal consequences of debates conducted during the Conference. Through the Observatory, the consortium will also advise the Conference leadership and develop proposals for the future participatory and democratic make-up of the EU.

Our experts

Paul Butcher

European Policy Centre
Policy Analyst

Janis Emmanouilidis

European Policy Centre
Director of Studies

Theodora Famprikezi

European Policy Centre
Programme Assistant

Johannes Greubel

European Policy Centre
Policy Analyst

Marita Hauernherm-Fronemann

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Project Assistant

Dominik Hierlemann

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Expert

Christian Huesmann

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Project Manager

Perle Petit

Perle Petit

European Policy Centre
Programme Assistant

Anna Renkamp

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Project Manager

Georg Riekeles

European Policy Centre
Associate Director

Stefan Roch

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Project Manager

Corina Stratulat

European Policy Centre
Head of European Politics and Institutions Programme and Senior Policy Analyst

High-Level Advisory Group

In addition to providing input, organising events and communicating around the Conference issues, the Observatory runs an independent High-Level Advisory Group.

The Advisory Group accompanies and seeks to shape the Conference process and outcomes, at different levels and phases. Throughout the Conference and especially in its final phase, the Advisory Group will make recommendations on possible results and outcome of the Conference.

The Advisory Group brings together a small but diversified group of experts, policymakers and civil society actors, capable of generating new ideas with regard to the future of Europe, and communicating them effectively in the public debate. The group is jointly chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council, and Brigid Laffan, Emeritus Professor at the European University Institute.

For further information about the composition and output of the Group, please see https://conference-observatory.eu/news/high-level-advisory-group.