Joint Policy Forum Brussels-Bialystok: Elections to the European Parliament as a Challenge for Democracy

5 Mar 2014 12:00
5 Mar 2014 16:00

The forthcoming 2014 elections to the European Parliament inspired the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Centre for Direct Democracy Studies (CDDS) at the University of Białystok (UwB), Poland to organize a policy forum with a view to discuss solutions to the pressing problems of the European Parliament (elections) as a challenge for democracy.

Topics for the discussion will include, among others:

  • Selected national case studies, e.g. Austria, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Malta and Poland
  • The role of the uniform electoral procedure in reducing democratic deficit and prospects thereof in the foreseeable future
  • The prospects for European public space and European parties
  • Raising awareness about the EP (elections)
  • Why should an ordinary citizen be interested in partaking in the EP elections?

This policy forum will be combined with the launch of the book “Elections to the European Parliament as a Challenge for Democracy” edited by Elżbieta Kużelewska (UwB-CDDS) and Dariusz Kloza (VUB-IES).


12:00-12:30 Sandwich lunch
12:30-12:45 Welcome, chairmen's opening remarks and the launch of the book
Dariusz Kloza, VUB-IES & VUB-LSTS and Dr. Elżbieta Kużelewska, UwB-CDDS
12:45-13:00 Keynote speech: The European Parliament as a true Chamber of Citizens – tackling reluctance in the European elections     Download
Prof. Jerzy Buzek MEP
13:00-13:45 Panel Debate I: The design of the EP elections: Experience from selected EU Member States
Moderated by Dr. Elżbieta Kużelewska, UwB-CDDS
  • Prof. Dr. Erich Schweighofer, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Davide Carrino, Edelman, Belgium
  • Maaike Geuens, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Georgia Christina Kosmidou, M.A. Johns Hopkins University, United States
13:45-14:00 Coffee break
14:00-15:00 Panel Debate II: The role of the EP in reducing the EU democratic deficit
Moderated by Dariusz Kloza, VUB-IES & VUB-LSTS
  • Prof. Dr. Jamal Shahin, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  • Dr. Tomasz Dubowski, University of Białystok, Poland
  • Dr. Magdalena Sapala, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  • Dr. Franciszek Strzyczkowski, University of Łódź, Poland
  • Davide Denti, University of Trento, Italy
  • Cristina Stanculescu, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
15:00-15:30 Discussion with the audience
Moderated by Dr Izabela Kraśnicka, UwB-CDDS
15:30-15:45 Closing remarks
Prof. Dr. Mariusz Golecki, University of Łódź, Poland

The Brussels policy forum will be followed up in Białystok, Poland on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. The speakers and the agenda for that meeting will be announced shortly.

Registration & Venue

The policy forum starts at 12:00 with a lunch reception and will be followed by the discussion at 12:30. Participation is free of charge and open to all but due to space limitations, registration is mandatory. Please register here!

Institute for European Studies
Karel Van Miert Building
Conference Room Rome (Floor -1)
Pleinlaan 5
1050 Brussels



Dariusz Kloza
Institute for European Studies

Ms. Jacintha Liem (Logistics)
Events Manager
Institute for European Studies