First European Thinking Lab Summit

Working Meeting of the DIALOGUE ON EUROPE Contributors in Lisbon

Four months after the successful kick-off of the Thinking Labs in Berlin, the DIALOGUE ON EUROPE Contributors met again on 25-27 November in Lisbon during the First Thinking Lab Summit hosted by Das Progressive Zentrum together with our Portuguese partner, the Institute of Public Policy and with the friendly support of the Guerrilla Foundation.

After a great #EuropeanTownHall Meeting in Lisbon and the Opening Conference held in Berlin by the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the German Federal Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth, the DIALOGUE ON EUROPE project head again to Portugal. During three days, the Contributors to the four Thinking Labs met and worked together on the four project topics: Migration & Integration, Populism, Social Cohesion and Sustainable Growth.

The First European Thinking Lab Summit gave the opportunity for each Contributor to discuss within its Thinking Lab about the work progress and also determine the new axes of reflection for the coming months to develop policy recommendations addressing European challenges.

Welcoming Speeches by Thomas Ossowski, Luís Mah and Filipe Caetano

The Summit has been opened by welcoming speeches delivered by Thomas Ossowski, Ambassador and Director for Relations with EU Member States, Cross-Border and Regional Cooperation from the German Federal Foreign Office, and Luís Mah, Researcher in Development Studies at the Lisbon School of Economics and Management and expert on international affairs.

“We are facing hard times in Europe. Populist forces are trying to diminish our liberties – your liberties and I hope you are angry about that! I ask you, not to give in to your fears, but to face the challenges by participating and voting.”

Thomas Ossowski

After the Thinking Labs Sessions kick-off which also took place on 25 November after the welcoming speeches, the Contributors had the opportunity to exchange in an informal talk with Thomas Ossowski and Filipe Caetano, Foreign Affairs Editor from TVI during a dinner at the event venue, the Lisbon School of Economics and Management.

Special Guests of the Thinking Labs

The Contributors worked during several sessions on 26 and 27 November to further develop their ideas. Two of the four Thinking Labs had the chance to host guests, specially invited to discuss with the group for an hour. Ricardo Marvão, Co-founder and Head of Global Resources of the Portuguese start-up incubator Beta-i, one of the biggest in Europe, debated with the Thinking Lab on Sustainable Growth on the opportunities of the start-up sector for enhancing sustainability in Europe. Tomáš Kratochvíl, a Czech filmmaker, discussed with the Thinking Lab on Migration & Integration about his documentary, REFUGEES, made after three weeks spent in November 2015 on the migration path from Turkey to Germany.

What’s next

After this First European Thinking Lab Summit, the Thinking Labs will continue the creation phase in working regularly online. They will meet again during the Second European Thinking Lab Summit in March 2017. The final recommendations will be published and presented in late summer next year. Meanwhile, the #EuropeanTownHall series goes forward and heads to Warsaw on 7 December and to London on January 2017. If you are interested in these Town Hall Meetings, please contact us.

You can follow the conclusions of the First European Thinking Lab Summit, and the work progress of each Thinking Lab on the DIALOGUE ON EUROPE online platform.

You can also find the press release here (English | Portuguese).