The Hambach Democracy Dialogue (HDD) conference is the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s annual flagship event on the future of European Democracy with renowned speakers fromall over Europe. Progressive Tradition, European Vision: The HDD follows in the tradition started by the Hambach Festival of 1832 in terms of German and European democratic history and Europe's ideals and history of integration. At Hambach Castle in the German-French border region we reflect on democracy in Europe at our high-level conferences and establish a platform for exchanging progressive ideas and proposls for enhancing and defending European democracy. For more information, visit our dedicated website.
In recent years, overlapping crises have preoccupied Europe: the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the rise of the illiberal right, COVID-19, and the energy and cost-of-living crises are challenging European democracies in different ways.
On 15 and 16 June, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is organising the third Hambach Democracy Dialogue to discuss how Social Democracy can be defended and how it should respond to the current challenges. Together with politicians, experts, and representatives of European civil society, as well as young people and young professionals from all over Europe, we present and debate studies and working papers on progressive approaches to strengthening democracies' resilience. Our aim: to develop progressive ideas and proposals for the future of European democracies.
The focus of this year’s conference is on defending democracy in times of multiple crises. How can democracies be best defended against the illiberal right, against economic turbulences, and against autocracies that are gaining in assertiveness and challenging democracies?
In the run-up to the third HDD, a workshop for about 25 young Europeans will take place. Are you between 20 and 35 years old and interested to develop concrete proposals to enhance European policies and institutions? Then, this workshop is your opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas and develop concrete proposals to enhance European policies and institutions and to strengthen the resilience of democracy in Europe.
This year, the workshop will focus on the impact of economic turbulences on democracies’ resilience. You will work about the following key questions: How does inequality affect democratic participation? How do wealthy private actors disproportionally influence democratic decision making? Do new democratic innovations fare better in tackling inequality’s effect on democracy? The workshop participants will also attend the HDD and take part in the conference discussions to present their ideas and perspectives to a group of European parlamentarians, national politicians, democracy experts and representatives of European civil society. A unique opportunity to discuss face to face with decision-makers and provide them with a list of "to do’s" for their work.
If you want to join our HDD workshop on 14 and 15 June, please apply before 15 May by writing to hdd(at)fes.de.
In June, we welcomed international speakers from all around Europe at our Hambach Democracy Dialogue to talk about new progressive ideas and ways to defend democracy and to strengthen its resilience. Jennifer McCoy and Victor Negrescu, two of our speakers at HDD22 have written down their ideas to reduce or contain polarization and strengthen the political participation of the young generation in the first two issues of our Hambach Democracy Papers.
Furthermore, the 2022 conference was captured in a series of short videos featuring our distinguished speakers. Ranging from the idea behind the HDD to polarisation in the political sphere to the participation of the youth in European politics, you can view the entire playlist.
The next Hambach Democratic Dialogue will take place in 2022. Meanwhile, our work on the future of European Democracy continues. Here you can find more information and a highlight video of the HDD21 with prominent speakers from all over Europe. Together with our media partner Euractiv we will publish several articles on the main proposals and ideas discussed at the conference. Please find a selection here:
For more information, please contact Marco Schwarz, Policy officer for Democracy, Rule of law & Good Governance: marco.schwarz(at)fes.de