Can Europe still be saved? Saved from the wave of nationalist populism that is sweeping through the continent, claiming victories in Hungary, Poland, Austria and now Italy? Saved from the excesses of liberalism that have turned the people of Europe against their own continent, and eroded confidence in its founding humanist ideals? Saved from itself: from its dated, impenetrable technocracy; from its lack of vision and narrative; from the absence of a shared project for the future?
And yet Europe now offers the only viable territorial and political arena in which to confront the threats to democracy in the twenty-first century. In which to tackle today’s social, migratory, environmental and geopolitical challenges. In which to harness the possibilities of the digital age, and to embrace metropolisation and territorial synergy, from the local to the continental, the universal to the unique. And in which to come together with a view to building new democratic methods and imagining the culture of tomorrow.
Europe may yet prove to be the only purpose capable of mobilizing the emerging generations of “European, crisis and digital natives” behind the common cause of their shared destiny. The great project around which they can and must invent new institutions, re-think models and reach consensus. Europe has the potential to be an unprecedented crucible of innovation, transformation and imagination; a platform on which to prototype the future.
Just a few months from the unpredictable European elections that look set to send political shockwaves around the continent, the European Lab Forum is returning to the heart of the European capital of Brussels, where it will once more give the floor to new generations of activists, demonstrators and project leaders, as well as cultural, media and democratic actors.
Taking place at the same time as the Nuits Sonores Brussels festival, and in partnership with BOZAR, European Lab Brussels will offer two days of interaction, inspiration and debate, providing cause for new hope and reasons to reject fatalism.