TEPSA French Pre-Presidency Conference, Paris, 9-10 December 2021

On 1 January 2022, Slovenia will hand over the Presidency of the Council of the EU to France, which will hold its reigns once again, as it has done on multiple occasions since the rotating presidency was introduced. During the next six months, the French Presidency will have to sail through troubled waters to address some of the most pressing EU issues, such as the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of the European Green Deal, the digital agenda and EU’s relations with its external partners. To scrutinise the priorities and challenges of the Presidency, TEPSA and its French Member Institute, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics at Sciences Po Paris, will host the French Pre-Presidency Conference on 9 and 10 December 2021.

TEPSA and Sciences Po CEE will be gathering high-level panellists to speak in plenary and parallel sessions about current EU affairs, including the European Green Deal, European solidarity, digitalisation, the EU post-pandemic, the Conference on the Future of Europe, Enlargement, and European strategic autonomy. The event takes place in person; the Plenary Sessions will also be livestreamed, for those who cannot join in person.

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During the two day-event, EU and French policy-makers, officials, researchers, journalists and civil society members aimed at answering some of the following questions:

  1. Does the Recovery and Resilience Facility genuinely tackle the environmental issue?

  2. How does the EU deal with the risk that the new facilities that the Recovery and Resilience Facility provide focus on short terms expenditures?

  3. Can the new rule of law conditionality for EU funding help overcome the current deadlock? Which other existing tools can the EU draw on, and which remain to be developed? And how can the EU tackle democratic backsliding among candidate countries?

  4. What are the latest developments on the reflection on the future of Europe? Has the Conference on the Future of Europe succeeded in being a forum for participatory democracy and inclusive reforms in this regard? Is differentiated integration as a possible path for the future developments of the European political project?

  5. Have things changed over the last years with a greater concern in Brussels for the social consequences of European integration?

  6. Is the current institutional set-up sufficient to allow the EU to play a strong role internationally? How to ensure European unity when individual member states are reluctant to join common initiatives or positions? Which tools for an effective European foreign policy?

  7. Which concrete actions does the EU need to take to ensure its voice is heard both in Europe and beyond? And how can member states rally around a common vision for Europe’s strategic positioning?

This event takes place in person in Paris, with a livestreamed element for those who cannot join in person. French government COVID-19 restrictions apply, and a valid COVID Safe Pass is required to attend the event. Please ensure you wear a mask and keep your distance. Thank you for your understanding.