Paving the Way Towards Resilient European Civic Cooperation

This paper was created in the context of “Daring New Spaces: Striving towards a European Public Sphere”


The focus of this vision paper is the role of civil society, more specifically European civic cooperation in the European public sphere. Civil society actors can take the role of watchdog of European politics and push for the emergence of a European demos. By introducing a greater variety of actors, issues, and perspectives to the public discourse, civil society can make the European public sphere more diverse and lively. Read this paper to learn how a strong European civil society facilitates communication between European politics and citizens.

This paper outlines challenges and opportunities to create a robust and resilient European public sphere. First, we present an overarching vision of a possible European public sphere in 2025 as well as milestones that need to be reached to achieve such a reality. We then narrow in by presenting a vision of a cooperation-based European Union supported by a more interconnected European civil society.

These bold visions assist us in developing policy recommendations and gathering existing successful practices that bring us closer to a truly European public sphere. The ideas presented have emerged in a collaborative and co-creative process of exchange amongst experts and professionals passionate for a more united Europe. This future-oriented exercise was launched within the Daring New Spaces project in a working group focussing on European civic cooperation.


Dr. Sabrina Schulz

Policy Fellow
As of May 1, Sabrina Schulz is executive director of SDSN Germany. Before, she was executive director at the Berlin office of the KfW Förder- und Entwicklungsbank. At Das Progressive Zentrum, she is a Policy Fellow in the program 'Economic and Social Transformation' and works on topics related to climate and energy, as well as, European topics in general.
Foreign Policy and the Just Transition
Building a bridge between foreign policy and the underlying economic and social changes which arise as part of the challenges of the energy transition

About the authors

This Vision Paper was written by the first working group of our project Daring New Spaces“European Civic Cooperation” – facilitated by Dr Sabrina Schulz.

About the project

This paper was created in the context of “Daring New Spaces: Striving towards a European Public Sphere”, a project initiated by Das Progressive Zentrum in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office, the Stiftung Mercator, and with the expert support of European Council for Foreign Relations. Visit the project page to find out more.

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