February 21

Democracy in Europe and elsewhere are facing a number of challenges. Digitalization and social media paves the way for disinformation spreading that sow seeds of doubt, dissent, and polarization, rather than foster trust and will of compromise. Climate change mitigation put new demands on national democratic governments’ capacity to bring about coordinated decision-making. Increasing economic inequalities stifle many people’s hopes about a better future, and can lead up to apathy, decreasing political participation, or radicalization. Anxiety about global migration as well as worrying about terrorism, reinforces sentiments of fear and suspicion against the other human being.

This seminar will be started off by three panelists who will share their views on specific challenges in British, European Union, and Spanish contexts. The panelists are experienced long-standing leaders in academia, organizational life, and politics, and are members of the international reference group giving advice in the build-up process of the IYTT-project, International Youth Think Tank. Since freedom of thoughts and speech are foundational civil liberties in a healthy democracy, we are very happy that the chairman of Swedish PEN is moderating the seminar.


– Cecilia Malmström, Swedish Dr. in political science, previously European Commissioner for Trade – Susan E Owens, British Emeritus Professor of Environment and Policy, University of Cambridge – Anna Terrón Cusí, Catalan and Spanish Socialist politician, Director of the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies Moderator Jesper Bengtsson, Chairman, Swedish PEN

Read more about the seminar here. Also, make sure to visit our Youtube page to watch a recap of the seminar.