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Building Bridges Project

To download the full report, The European Union in the Fog, click here. To download the articles, click here
For a detailed description of the events organised in the framework of the Building Bridges project, click here
Duration: December 2014-March 2016
The European Union is facing an essential dilemma. On the one hand, its need for further integration is urging; on the other hand, European citizens have a growing feeling that they have no say over the future of the European project. Increasing the EU’s legitimacy is a core priority for the new European leadership. One of the reasons of the growing distance between European citizens and the EU project may be that there lacks a refined appreciation of what the various national visions are over the EU. Moreover, the EU is failing to come up with new initiatives, which would foster strong support among the citizens.
Called “Building Bridges Between National Perspectives on the European Union”, it aims to address those challenges. It fosters an analytical and educational approach. The project aims to stimulate the public debate around national experts on the relationship between their member state and the EU and on the future of the Union. This project helps confront their visions with others’ from different member states, but also those of people from different horizons.

The project gathers 28 experts on European affairs, one from each member state. Each focuses on the perspectives of his/her member state. The project generated four workshops in Warsaw organised by the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), in Madrid organised by Real Instituto Elcano, in Brussels and in Paris organised by Ifri, and two public conferences in Prague organised by EUROPEUM and in Brussels organised by Ifri. Each workshop gathered several experts of the group as well as local participants. All along the project, the video series "Building Bridges Conversation Series" each time brings two experts who debate their national perspectives on the EU.

All contributions are gathered in an online publication also containing a comparative analysis.

It is coordinated by Vivien Pertusot, Head of Ifri Brussels, assisted by Eva Vaudolon. The experts in the project are: Oliver Ait (Estonian Foreign Policy Institute), Vladimir Bartovic (EUROPEUM, Czech Republic), Ana Benje (Institute of European Studies and International Relations, Comenius University, Slovakia), Ana Bojinovic Fenko (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Karlis Bukovskis (Latvian Institute of International Affairs), Marie Cross (Institute of International and European Affairs, Ireland), Dominique David (Institut français des relations internationales), Nathan Dufour (Polish Institute of International Affairs), Marton Ugrosdy (Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary), Sandra Fernandes (University of Minho, Portugal), Julie Hamann (German Council on Foreign Relations), Sophie Heine (Institut Egmont – Royal Institute of International Relations, Belgium), Yiannos Ioannou (Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs), Tuomas Iso-Markku (Finnish Institute of International Affairs), Maja Kluger Rasmussen (Think Europa, Denmark), Guido Lessing (Centre d’études et de recherches européennes, Luxembourg), Anand Menon (King’s College London), Ignacio Molina (Elcano Royal Institute, Spain), Eleni Panagiotarea (Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy), Roderick Pace (Institute for European Studies, University of Malta), Aras Lindh (Swedish Institute of International Affairs), Eleonora Poli (Institute of International Affairs, Italy), Antoinette Primatarova (Centre for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria), Lola Raich (Austrian Institute for International Politics), Adriaan Schout (Clingendael, The Netherlands), Mihai Sebe (European Institute of Romania), Senada Selo Sabic (Institute for Development and International Relations, Croatia), Gediminas Vitkus (Institute of International Relations and Political Science, University of Vilnius, Lithuania).

Follow @Bridg_EU on Twitter and BuildingBridgesEU on Facebook

This project was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme "Europe for Citizens". 


Associated Research Fellow


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By: Vladimir BARTOVIC

The Czech Republic has moved from being a pro-EU country focused on benefits it can reap, such as the freedom of movement, to a more sceptic country in recent years. The critiques against the EU date back to the accession and do not focus on the integration process, but rather on the...

Monday 30 November 2015
at 17:30 - Seminars and Round-table Conferences

The fourth Building Bridges workshop took place on 30 November – 1st December 2015 in Paris. This event included a discussion between experts involved in the project and French citizens about the impact European integration had on France and what citizens' expectations are...

Monday 28 September 2015
at 17:30 - Seminars and Round-table Conferences

The third Building Bridges workshop took place on 28-29 September 2015. This event included a discussion between experts involved in the project and Belgian citizens about the impact European integration had on Belgium and what citizens' expectations are for the future.&nbsp...

Monday 06 July 2015
at 16:00 - Seminars and Round-table Conferences

The second Building Bridges workshop took place on 6-7 July 2015 in Madrid. It was hosted by the Elcano Royal Institute. This event included a discussion between experts involved in the project and Spanish citizens about the impact European integration had on Spain and what...

Monday 11 May 2015
at 16:00 - Seminars and Round-table Conferences

The first Building Bridges workshop took place on 11-12 May 2015 in Warsaw. It was hosted by the Polish Institute for International Affairs (PISM). This event included a discussion between experts involved in the project and Polish citizens about the impact European...