On 5 July 2018, we held the RECONNECT Kick-off Conference at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in Brussels. We were honored to present Dr. Adam Bodnar, Ombudsman of the Republic of Poland and H.E. Didier Reynders, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Belgium as keynote speakers.  We also shared key messages from Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman, and Sophie in’t Veld, MEP.

Attendees took part in two Policy Roundtables with representatives from the EU institutions, civil society organizations and academia concerned with the state of democracy and the rule of law in the EU.

Watch the Conference Recording

Policy Roundtable: Strengthening Democracy in the European Union 

Chair: Prof. Dr. Julie Smith, Baroness of Newnham (Director of the European Centre, Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University; Member of the House of Lords) 

  • Prof. Dr. Alberto Alemanno (Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law & Risk Regulation at HEC Paris, Director and Co-founder of ‘The Good Lobby’)
  • Dr. Richard Youngs (Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe) 
  • Ms. Zselyke Csaky (Senior Researcher at Freedom House) 
  • Prof. Dr. Vivien Schmidt (Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Professor of Political Science, Boston University) 
  • Prof. Dr. Carlos Closa Montero (Professor, Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish National Research Council)
  • Dr. Amichai Magen (Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya)

 Policy Roundtable: Addressing Rule of Law Challenges in the EU 

Chair: Prof. Dr. Laurent Pech (Jean Monnet Chair of European Public Law, Middlesex University London) 

  • Mr. Emmanuel Crabit (Director for Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law, DG Justice and Consumers) 
  • Mr. Tamas Lukacsi (Member of the Legal Service, European Parliament)
  • Mr. Philip Bittner (Legal Advisor, Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU)
  • H.E. Ambassador Peter Claes (Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Ms. Lotte Leicht (European Union Advocacy Director and Director of Human Rights Watch’s Brussels Office)
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Bárd (Lecturer, Central European University) 
  • Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov (Professor of EU Constitutional Law, Department of European and Economic Law, University of Groningen)