ENoP Public Conference "Shaping Perceptions on the European Union: The Role of Political Foundations" in Athens
The low election turnout and the success for some far-right parties in the recent European Parliament elections (May 2014) have underlined the challenge Europe is facing. European public opinion is increasingly skeptical about the very idea of European integration. As a result, parties and movements with an Anti-European agenda are gaining ground. This tendency and the rise of ideologies of intolerance need careful analysis and urgent answers. In this challenging environment, the role of political foundations is critical in raising public awareness of the importance of the European idea as well as in explaining and promoting the concept of the European integration. Political foundations observe, analyse and contribute to the debate on European public policy issues, both at a national and at European level. They also develop common activities, such as organising seminars, training, conferences and studies. In doing this, they combine partnerships to key civil society actors with contacts they maintain with political forces and with national, regional and local authorities. As a result, they have developed the skills and the expertise in order to act as effective promoters of European values and ideals and for operating as key-actors for the functioning of the European integration process. The event co-organized in Athens on 20 October 2014 by the European Network of Political Foundations and the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy aims at highlighting the role of political foundations in shaping EU perceptions. It will critically examine to what extend the new European political landscape following the elections of May 2014 might affect the European integration process. The idea is to bring together representatives from European political foundations in order to exchange ideas and best practices in responding to the expressed reservations about the European integration process. Moreover, this approach should serve to create the framework for the adoption of a common strategy towards the growing society-based Eurosceptic and anti-European movements. The conference will last from 18hrs until 20hrs and is taking place at the Crown Plaza, 50 Michalakopoulou Ave, 11528 Athens, Room Sokrates.