EUROSFAT is the annual forum of European debates taking place in Romania since 2013. The aim of the event is to bring together politicians, diplomats, activists, business representatives, researchers, experts and citizens in order to debate on key issues on the European agenda, facilitating thus the positioning of Romanian actors within the EU.
EUROSFAT is under the high patronage of the European institutions and benefits from stable partnerships with important institutions in Romania and in Europe, private companies and representatives of civil society.
The 8th edition of the Eurosfat Forum took place under special conditions, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic being our priority to protect the health of participants and guests. Thus, we adapted to the digital environment, the entire Forum taking place in an online environment where participants from all over Europe were able to connect from the comfort of their homes to the debates broadcast through communication platforms and social networks. The forum took place over a whole week, between October 12 and 16, with 2 debates a day.
The pandemic marked not only the actual conduct of the Forum but also the topics of discussion. The main topic of discussion was the EU Recovery Plan following the COVID-19 pandemic, Next Generation EU, hence the name of the Forum: The New Generation of Europe. In addition to this topic, we focused on two other major topics of debate, namely: the green transition and the digital transition, two major European priorities. We also explored the impact of the pandemic on the European labor market but also on the justice system, be it European or national. Among the guests were the European Chief Prosecutor, Laura Codruța Kövesi, the President of the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament, Dacian Cioloș, distinguished MEPs, mayors of some very important cities in Europe and Romania, such as Leuven, Cluj-Napoca, Gorlitz or Timișoara, representatives of the European Commission, ambassadors of Germany or Belgium in Romania.
The forum was attended by over 850 participants, mainly young citizens, civil society representatives, journalists, activists and interested citizens who debated for 5 days with MEPs, representatives of European, national and local institutions, mayors, representatives of the private, business and academic environment and ambassadors.
The 7th edition of the EUROSFAT Forum opened the electoral campaign for the European elections in Romania. The largest annual European business forum in Romania took place in Bucharest on April 11 and 12 and benefited from the presence of over 600 participants, mainly young citizens, representatives of civil society, journalists, activists, ambassadors who debated time 2 days with representatives of European parties, Romanian and foreign candidates in the European elections, representatives of European, national and local institutions, mayors, representatives of the banking, private, business and academic environment and social entrepreneurs.
On 11 April, candidates and representatives of the main European political parties came to Romania to discuss with citizens the importance of the May 26 vote, to find out how they perceive the EU and what the EU means to them, but also to answer their questions. . The debate was dynamic and interactive and involved 100 young citizens in a dialogue with 4 senior representatives of European political parties: Dara Murphy, Vice-President and Campaign Director of the European People’s Party (EPP), Andi Cristea, Representative of the group Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D), Michal Berg, Member of the Executive Committee of the European Green Party (EGP) and Daniel Berg, Member of the Momentum Party Board and candidate in the European elections.
On April 12, the forum opened with the first debate of this year between the top candidates of the main political parties in Romania in the European elections. Dacian Cioloș (President of PLUS), Siegfried Mureșan (Member of the European Parliament, PNL), Victor Ponta (President of Pro Romania), Eugen Tomac (President of PMP) and Tudor-Tim Ionescu (candidate in the ALDE European Parliamentary elections) were present at EUROSFAT forum to answer questions from Romanian citizens in the room. They presented the main messages that they want to address to the participants and that they want them to remember on the day of the vote in the European elections. Citizens, along with civil society representatives, wanted to know which party each candidate would vote for if they could not vote for their own, how they want parties to increase the turnout of both young people and generations over the age of 60. They were interested in concrete solutions to the problems of rural and Roma communities and to increase the representation of young people in the future European Parliament.
Subsequently, there were 8 thematic debates on key issues in the election campaign:
- Civic involvement and its influence in the election results, in which I learned from civic and political activists and journalists what civil society expectations are from Romanian and European candidates in the European elections;
- The rule of law and the fight against corruption in public administration, in which ways have been debated how to reform the public administration so that it becomes an attractive environment for professionals as well as how to change the culture of bureaucracy and the culture of bribery;
- Building a safer and more efficient health system, in which representatives of the European Commission, the Romanian Parliament, a hospital manager and representatives of pharmaceutical companies discussed how ready Romania is for the digital revolution in the field of health;
- The Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and how it is adapted to current challenges, a debate with experts in the field from the Romanian Senate, the Romanian Government, the European Commission, the European Parliament and academia;
- Sustainable development of urban areas in Romania, an interactive debate between mayors and councilors of Romanian cities but also experts on good practices in infrastructure, transport and urban energy efficiency;
- EU trade policy and its role in shaping the future of free trade was discussed at a high level by the Ambassador of New Zealand in Romania, representatives of the Embassy of Canada and Japan and a representative of the European Commission;
- The role of social entrepreneurship in the EU was presented by the Dutch Ambassador to Romania and then leisurely discussed with social entrepreneurs from the Netherlands and Romania, with representatives of the European Commission and civil society, as well as with Oana Țoiu, candidate for the USR-PLUS Alliance 2020 European elections.
- Eugen Rădulescu (BNR), Raluca Painter (Comisia Europeană), Florin Bâlcan (Provident Financial România), Dragoș Neacșu (Erste Asset Management), Gabriela Folcuț (ARB) și Bogdan Glăvan (Universitatea Româno-Americană) presented in detail ways we can achieve safer, more efficient and more inclusive financial markets.
The forum ended with a play performed in partnership with the Europe Direct Bucharest center and performed by 9 high school students, who wanted to convince the audience of the importance of voting and sparked a lively discussion in which the audience took the place of the actors to bring a happy ending to the play.
On June 8, 2018, the 6th edition of the largest annual forum for European debates in Romania, the Eurosfat Forum 2018, organized by Europuls – the Center of European Expertise, under the patronage, took place at the JW Marriott Hotel in Bucharest European Parliament, the European Commission, the Bulgarian Presidency and the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The 2018 edition of Eurosfat welcomed over 350 participants to the plenary session, bringing together 66 speakers including a European Commissioner, ambassadors, presidential advisers, European officials, representatives of international organizations, activists, journalists, etc. and 9 major themes: the future of Europe, combating misinformation, the Common Agricultural Policy and the generation of young farmers, cyber security, the euro area, Brexit, the health system, democracy and the rule of law, the future of the energy system and digitalisation, social Europe and an event cultural event dedicated to a video exhibition dedicated to the Black Sea region in the presence of the director.
Eurosfat 2018 took place in a different format than in previous years. As a first step, a civic dialogue took place on 6 June with Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. On this occasion, Commissioner Navracsics presented his vision of the future of the Union and the potential of education in tackling the current challenges of the European continent, of the chances of creating a European Union of Education, but also of the Commission’s plans for education by 2025. was organized in partnership with the Representation of the European Commission in Romania.
On June 8, the Eurosfat forum took place, opened by a plenary entitled “Romania’s vision on the future of the European Union” which brought together at the same table of debates leaders and representatives of all 7 parties in Romania. The main political decision makers in Romania were present at a debate with representatives of civil society, thus giving them the opportunity to express their opinion on Romania’s place in the future European Union. The opening consisted of a presentation of the positions of the 7 parties on the future of the EU, aiming to identify Romania’s future priorities within a stronger Union, and areas in which Romania could play a strategic role at European level. The plenary session was organized in partnership with the Representation of the European Commission in Romania.
On April 28, 2017, the 5th edition of the largest annual forum for European debates in Romania, the Eurosfat Forum 2017, organized by Europuls – the Center of European Expertise, took place at the JW Marriott Hotel in Bucharest.
The European Union celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2017, and Romania 10 years since joining this ambitious political project. Both have questions about the future. After several years of “poly-crisis”, the EU must be able to answer complicated questions, and the debate began in March when the European Commission published a White Paper on the Future of Europe. Therefore, the fifth edition of the Eurosfat Forum proposed a different thematic structure, meant to encourage debates on the Romanian and European scene about the evolution of Romania 10 years after its accession to the European Union.
The 2017 edition of Eurosfat welcomed over 600 participants, bringing together 61 speakers including a European Commissioner, ambassadors, presidential advisers, European officials, representatives of international organizations, activists, journalists, etc. and 11 major themes: the future of Europe, digital transformation, CETA, the common agricultural policy, urban design, defense, corruption, populism, gender equality, energy and European identity, as well as an original documentary film in the presence of the director about the protests of the year 2012 from Russia.
The forum was opened by a plenary entitled “The future of Europe and bridging the gaps through digital transformation” which hosted senior guests from the European Commission and the Presidential Administration, such as Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market and Leonard Orban, Presidential Adviser for European Affairs, Romanian Presidency. The opening consisted of a citizens’ dialogue aimed at identifying Romania’s and the EU’s future priorities on the digital agenda and Romania’s role in an integrated or multi-speed Europe, in the light of the lessons of the last 10 years. The plenary session was organized in partnership with the Representation of the European Commission in Romania.
JW Marriott from Bucharest the 4th edition of the largest annual forum for European debates in Romania, the Eurosfat Forum 2016, organized by Europuls – European Expertise Center.
The event brought together politicians, representatives of central and local authorities, business, as well as researchers from academia, experts and citizens, to discuss key issues on the European policy agenda and shape Romania’s positions on these issues. Eight different topics were discussed at Eurosfat 2016, such as the Energy Union, EU policies on the refugee and migrant crisis, open government and the Transatlantic Partnership for Trade and Investment (“TTIP”), as well as current cultural projects such as the screening of the documentary “To Kyma ”About the European refugee crisis and the play / workshop“ In search of Europe ”, a topic of European interest.
The purpose of the forum is to contribute directly through the topics discussed to the creation of an integrated European agenda by highlighting topics of national interest.
Under the high patronage of the Dutch Presidency of the Council, the European Parliament and the Representation of the European Commission in Romania, the event attracted a large and enthusiastic audience of 700 participants and enjoyed the support of a large number of Romanian embassies and organizations. civil society such as the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Aspen Institute.
The third edition of the EUROSFAT Forum was held on Friday, 29th of May 2015 at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest. The event included an opening plenary session and two parallel series of debates followed by an exhibition.
The central theme of EUROSFAT 2015 was focused on EU’s external relations and Romania’s role in the new geopolitical context, regionally and globally. Therefore, some of the debates and conferences of the forum focused on topics such as EU’s security strategy, EU’s neighbourhood policy, the prospects for expansion and the relations with Russia. In addition, discussions were held on other strategic issues for Romania and the European Union such as the energy security policy, the state of democracy and the rule of law in Romania and the integration policies for Roma people. The forum, held under the patronage of the European Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, was organised by Europuls in partnership with the Romanian Centre for European Policies and other civil society organizations and public institutions in Romania and the EU. Among the guests were European officials, members of the European Parliament and the Romanian Parliament, experts from Romania and other Member States, representatives of civil society, businesses and interested citizens.
On the 7th of April 2014, over 600 people gathered at the Parliament Palace in Bucharest to debate on the state of the European Union and Romania’s place in Europe. Now in its second edition, Eurosfat 2014 has consolidated its position as the most important forum for European debates organised in Romania. The main theme of Eurosfat 2014 was “Where is Europe heading to?”, a question to which 14 candidates to the European Parliament’s elections, leaders of the main European political families, ministers, Romanian and European politicians, officials, representatives of NGOs, think –tanks and citizens tried to answer to.
Thus, in the halls of the Palace of Parliament were discussed topics such as the rule of law in Romania, the accession to Schengen, Romania’s withdrawal from the EU’s economic periphery, regionalization and the structural funds, the consequences of CAP reform and workers’ mobility in the EU. In the two plenary sessions were discussed the institutional prospects after the European Parliament’s elections and the visions of the major political families for the future of the European Union.
The first edition of EUROSFAT took place on March 15, 2013 at the Parliament Palace in Bucharest. Under the Eurosfat umbrella and in the framework of ten debates, over 600 participants discussed about topics of interest to Romania and the European Union. Romanian politicians and European officials, citizens, representatives of NGOs and think-tanks debated on the perspectives of small and medium-sized enterprises in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy, on the third legislative package on energy, on Romania’s accession to the euro area, on reflecting EU news in the Romanian press, on European citizenship, on management of structural funds, on the Romanian health system and on data protection and security.