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About Debating Europe

Making European democracy fit for the 21st century


Our challenge

Liberal democracies are struggling to effectively manage emergent global challenges such as climate change, digitalisation, and tectonic geopolitical shifts.

The complex and constantly evolving needs of populations, coupled with the challenging information landscape riddled with misinformation, often leads to citizens feeling disengaged. 

Debating Europe

Our role

Debating Europe is the citizen engagement unit of Friends of Europe, the think tank designing a Renewed Social Contract for Europe by 2030. We want to contribute to reimagining a democracy fit for the 21st century, one that:


Encourages and empowers people to play a greater role in the big strategic and policy decisions that affect their lives, and the lives of future generations.
Fosters dialogue through which people can develop the skills and confidence needed to involve themselves in the decisions that shape their lives.
Nurtures a healthy public space to enable democratic change to happen by connecting citizens and policymakers.


By rebalancing the relationship between political institutions and citizens we aim to ensure that decision-making processes and policies align with the needs and aspirations of the people they serve, creating a more inclusive, sustainable, and forward-thinking Europe.


The people behind Debating Europe


Adam Nyman

Director, Citizen Outreach and Engagement


Alessandra Cardaci

Head of Programming and Operations


Julie Malaize

Project Executive


Talisa Mazzoni

Project Assistant


Community building and partnerships

Realising our objectives will not happen easily or quickly, and we won’t be able to achieve them on our own. That’s why we work together with citizens, pro-democracy organisations, governments, and other institutions across Europe, to strengthen and build the infrastructure of future democracy.


Help us boost a sense of meaningful and active citizenship, in line with our core objectives of promoting a new kind of leadership and regenerating democracy. Join now.


Our funding

Debating Europe is a project of Friends of Europe. More information about our finances and fundraising guidelines can be found here.

Friends of Europe is a beneficiary of the European Commission Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) programme. The Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) programme was launched in 2021 and will run for seven years until 2027. It was created along with the 2021-2027 Justice programme under the Justice, Rights and Values Fund.

The CERV programme seeks to support and develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. That includes a vibrant and empowered civil society, encouraging people’s democratic, civic and social participation and cultivating the rich diversity of European society, based on our common values, history and memory.

The CERV programme has four pillars:

1) Equality, Rights and Gender Equality – promoting rights, non-discrimination, equality (including gender equality), and advancing gender and non-discrimination mainstreaming

2) Citizens’ engagement and participation – promoting citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union, exchanges between citizens of different Member States, and raising awareness of the common European history

3) Daphne – fight violence, including gender-based violence and violence against children

4) Union values – protect and promote Union values

Civil society organisations active at local, regional, national and transnational level, as well as other stakeholders, can apply to receive CERV funding for initiatives aimed at citizens’ engagement, equality for all and the protection and promotion of rights and EU values.