Climate, challenge for Democracy

IED Winter Academy 2019

Friday 20 - Saturday 21 December 2019, @Thon Hotel EU, Brussels, Belgium



As every year since 2015, the Institute of European Democrats (IED) is organizing in cooperation with the Young democrats for Europe (YDE) a gathering of young Europeans (under 35). The main purpose of the initiative is to prepare young people to better understand the European political context and to take an active role in the democratic process.

The Institute of European Democrats has launched in spring 2019 a Call for Paper called "Young Europeans: how to act on the Climate crisis?". This external research project aims at bringing new ideas and proposals to tackle the Climate crisis at European level and received a positive feed back from young researchers from all over Europe.

The IED and the Young democrats for Europe (YDE) would like the participants of this Winter academy to have the opportunity to reflect on the challenge posed by Climate change from various perspectives, as they will have to engage about this issue with their fellow citizens for years to come.

The core mission of IED and the Young Democrats for Europe is the promotion of a democratic Europe. We have therefore narrowed the theme to "Climate Challenge for Democracy". The idea is to properly formulate and then to start answering the following questions:

  • Are democracies at all able to deal efficiently with climate change?

    Although this challenge is obvious for decades, too little progress has been made so far.

  • Is there a risk of radicalisation of part of the youth?

    Out of frustration with this lack of progress, more and more Young people seem to be drifting out of the democratic mechanisms (and their necessary compromises)

  • How to build a democratic consensus around a sound and efficient response to Climate change?

    This response should not only be efficient, but socially fair, taking into account the social costs of some measures as well as geographical disparities.


Moderated by Mathieu Baudier, Member of the IED Scientific Committee

Friday 20 December

  • 16:00 Registration
  • 16:30 Welcome and Introduction
  • 17:30 Keynote Speech : Yann Wehrling (MoDem), long-term environmental activist, now special Ambassador of France for environmental issues.
  • 20:00 Dinner in Brussels city centre

Saturday 21 December

  • 9:30: Registration
  • 10:00 Thematic introduction and role play game
  • 11:30 Keynote speech : Jonathan Barnes, researcher in Environmental Policy and Development. Department of Geography and Environment (LSE)
  • 13:00 lunch
  • 14:30 Communication workshop : How to foster actions against climate change through social media?
  • 17:00 Conclusion
  • 19:00 Dinner in Brussels city center / departures