High-level conferences

Aiming to become a sounding board for citizens’ concerns and to mobilise citizens, together with their organisations, as multipliers, a series of citizens’ networking conferences and seminars will take place between October 2017 and October 2018. The initiative to raise the profile of ‘The Citizens’ Parliament’, led by the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, will gather relevant stakeholders and established partner organisations working in each respective field at high-level conferences on EU policy.

EPRS offers content in support of this series of conferences in the form of a publication or series of publications. The list of conferences below gives a short description of the subject, link to registration, and our range of analysis and information useful to participants of the conference.

List of High-level conferences

High-level conference on Oceans: the future of the blue planet

19 March 2019, European Parliament, Brussels


High-level conference on Oceans


Oceans and seas are of crucial importance to the EU. Healthy oceans are home to a very rich biodiversity, act as climate-regulators, offer food security and contribute to the European economy, offering jobs to nearly 3.5 million people.

However, they are under increasing pressure from over-fishing, coastal eutrophication, marine litter and climate change. They need to be managed sustainably in order to conserve the fragile marine ecosystems.

Panel discussions will cover:

  • Global ocean governance
  • Sustainable blue economy
  • Healthy, clean seas and oceans by 2030

Find out more about the conference:


High-level conference on Cultural heritage in Europe: linking past and future

26 June 2018, European Parliament, Brussels


Cultural heritage in Europe: linking past and future

The European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 provides a moment to take stock of Europe’s shared history and values and reflect on how to build on these for the future. To mark the year thousands of activities are taking place across Europe to involve people more closely with cultural heritage at local, regional, national and European levels. The conference, organised at the initiative of Parliament President Antonio Tajani and in close cooperation with the culture committee, chaired by Petra Kammerevert, will bring together political leaders, policy makers and stakeholders, as well as some very well-known guests to debate the challenges of the sector in three panels: Cultural heritage and Europeanness, Preserving and promoting cultural heritage, Innovation and the economic potential of cultural heritage.

Panels will include artists from different fields and stakeholders delivering testimonies. There will be two live music performances and an exhibition on video games.

Find out more about the conference and the sector via the below links:


High Level conference: Shaping our digital future: the challenge of the digital revolution

25 April 2018, European Parliament, Brussels

Shaping our digital future

Digital technologies have changed the way we live and transformed the world around us at unprecedented speed. They have affected all important aspects of life, both at work and at home, and have influenced almost everything from human relations to the economy, to the extent that access to the internet has now become a basic human right recognised by the United Nations.

This profound change presents both opportunities and threats to our society. Citizens need specific skills and access to be able to meaningfully take part in society and work. European businesses need an adequate policy framework and infrastructure to capture the enormous value created by the digital economy. Supporting innovation, removing barriers in the digital single market, and effectively managing and using data are the necessary tools to assist them and boost economic growth in Europe.

These and other topics will be discussed by experts, legislators, stakeholders and decision makers on 25 April during a high-level conference organised by the Parliament and the European Commission and taking place in Parliament buildings in Brussels.

The panels will focus on: Investing in connectivity and the data economy infrastructure (5G, High Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence) and avoiding a digital divide; Innovation in the digital age based on better access, use and re-use of data; Advantages, challenges and opportunities for people using digital services and how to best maintain their trust; A digital single market for European businesses to operate across the EU in a fair environment without barriers.


High Level conference: Towards a renewed partnership with Africa

22 November 2017, European Parliament, Brussels

High Level conference: Towards a renewed partnership with Africa

For ten years, the African Union and the EU have shared a common strategy (JAES, Joint Africa-EU Strategy) on several global challenges, such as migration, security issues and climate change. The times when EU-Africa relations were based on a donor’s agenda are over: Africa is also a world of opportunities the EU is keen not to miss – but not at the cost of forgetting the fight for democratic values. The European Parliament has organised a high level conference to promote its vision, one week before the 5th African Union-EU Summit, which takes place in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) on 29-30 November 2017. The European Parliament champions this partnership and would like more ambitious goals to be adopted. A broad investment plan could help Africa and the EU develop closer cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, technology, resources,… Promoting legal migration while better tackling the root causes of illegal migration should be shared priorities. This will be possible if a safe, conducive economic environment is created, and if African youth is given the opportunity to benefit from better education, lifelong training and possibilities for entrepreneurship

Over the last few decades there have been significant demographic shifts in Africa. Since the 1980s the population has nearly trebled. The continent’s population is also very young: 40% is less than 15 years old, while 15-24-year-olds make up another 20%.

This population growth leads to challenges regarding economic growth and job creation, as well as for security, migration and political participation.

The conference is set to discuss issues such as peace and security, human rights, sustainable development and migration. African political leaders, African Union representatives and UN officials will debate with MEPs, Parliament President Tajani and Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign affairs chief.

  • Registration and programme, European Parliament
  • Topical Digest (EN | FR), EPRS, DG for Internal Policies and DG for External Policies, November 2017


High-Level conference on Clean Energy Financing

7 November 2017, European Parliament, Brussels


High Level conference on Clean Energy Financing

The energy sector is key to the European economy, but it also represents two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, so will play a central role in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. To achieve the EU’s goals of reducing its impact on the environment, significant additional investment will be needed. It is estimated that in order to reach the EU’s 2030 energy and climate targets, about €379 billion investments are needed every year between 2020 and 2030, mostly in energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and infrastructure.

Significant investment is needed in the energy sector to help the EU achieve its ambitious climate change targets, which were agreed as part of the Paris Agreement. The Clean Energy for all Europeans package aims to set the legal framework to make this transformation possible.

Find out more about the conference and the sector via the below links:



High-Level conference on Tourism

27 September 2017, European Parliament, Brussels


High-Level conference on Tourism

Tourism is an important source of economic growth, generating more than 5% of the EU’s gross domestic product. In 2014 alone some 582 million tourists visited EU countries. However, the sector faces also faces various challenges, such as its impact on the environment and local life, precarious jobs and increasing competition from countries outside the EU.

The European Parliament is very active in this area, through the work of its Committee on Transport and Tourism, of a Task Force and of the Intergroup on Tourism and other relevant Committees. In September 2015, it adopted a resolution calling for an integrated European tourism policy. For these reasons, on the 27 of September, World Tourism Day, the European Parliament is organising a high-level event to promote a European strategy on tourism as a key driver of growth and job creation.

Find out more about the conference and the sector via the below links:


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