Civic Roundtable

The Civic Roundtable is an annual event offering 30 fellows from different European countries and beyond a platform to study trends and challenges and to experiment with various ways to forge better civics across Europe. Some of the participants are alumni of the Schools of Political Studies, whilst others are active in NGOs, think tanks, government bodies or academia across the continent. The discussions are facilitated by prominent academics and opinion-makers.

The Civic Roundtable is jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the Association of Schools of Political Studies. There have now been four successful editions of the Civic Roundtable.



2019 Civic Roundtable – Democracy and Information: Friends or Foes?

The fourth edition of the Civic Roundtable, entitled “Democracy and Information: Friends or Foes” was held in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 7-8 October 2019 and was organised by the Council of Europe, in partnership with the Association of Schools of Political Studies (ASPS) and the Ukrainian School of Political Studies.

The one-and-a-half-day event was organised with discussion platforms, workshops and a keynote speech and was a chance for SPS alumni to gather and discuss questions regarding what the future holds for democracy, whether the digital age is a threat or a blessing for democracy and how to counter the challenges faced with fake news and disinformation.

Among some of the experts that were present were David Patrikarakos, Yeroslav Vedmid, Olga Yurkova, Yanina Sokolova, Olaf Steenfadt.

2019 Programme

2018 Civic Roundtable – Multilateralism in Crisis

The third edition of the Civic Roundtable was organised by the Council of Europe, in cooperation with the Association of Schools of Political Studies (ASPS) and the Civic School of Political Studies in Greece. The event was held in Thessaloniki, Greece from 18 to 19 December 2018.

The one-and-a-half-day event included keynote speeches, plenary discussions and work in groups. It was organised around three main questions: 1) How does the present multilateral rules-based global governance relate to current realities? 2) What does it take to maintain the universal appeal of the multilateral human rights system? 3) In a globalised world, can multilateralism safeguard social equality and refugee protection?

Among the experts on multilateralism from different fields who provided keynote presentations were Loukas Tsoukalis, Professor at Sciences Po Paris and President of Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP); Sonia Licht, President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence; Nils Muižnieks, President of the Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe and former Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe (2012-2018); and Philippe Leclerc, UNHCR Representative in Greece.

2018 Programme 

2017 Civic Roundtable – Forced Migration and Asylum

The second edition of the Civic Roundtable was organised by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Association of Schools of Political Studies on the topic of “Forced Migration and Asylum: Dynamics and Policy Responses in Europe and its Neighbourhood.” 

Held in Strasbourg from 10-11 July, the Roundtable brought together 32 young professionals working in the field of migration, from governments, public bodies, think tanks, international organisations and NGOs. Over the course of the two days, participants shared experiences and good practices, looking at national and international policy responses. Specific topics of discussion included the growing anti-migrant populist rhetoric, the role of local authorities and civil society in the reception and integration of refugees, unaccompanied children and family reunification, and the prospect of setting up a CoE Academy for Democratic Leadership for persons with a refugee background.

Guest speakers included Tomáš Boček, the Special Representative of the Council of Europe on Migration and Refugees; Giulia Laganà from the Open Society European Policy Institute and Kilian Kleinschmidt, former manager of the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan.

Working both in plenary and in smaller working groups, the Civic Roundtable offered young leaders to study trends and challenges across the European continent and beyond, as well as to build a peer network for future exchange.

2017 Programme

Summary report

Civ Roundtable

2016 Civic Roundtable – European Civics

The 2016 edition of the Civic Roundtable was co-organised by the Council of Europe and the European School of Politics in Istanbul, with financial support from the Mercator Foundation. The Roundtable was held in two parts, in Berlin and Strasbourg. Guest speakers included Joschka Fischer, Kalypso Nicolaides, Branko Milanovic, Rama Yade and David Gardner.

During the Berlin session in May, the participants were invited to discuss prospects of inclusive economic growth, trends related to inequality and social mobility, Europe’s role in the world, migration challenges and the associated changes to social capital and the social contract.

At the Strasbourg session in June, the participants presented the results of their reflections to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in a report entitled: “Towards a new European civics”.


2016 Programme

Summary report