The Berlin Conference 2021: "Europe Bottom-Up" focused on the responsibility of Europeans in shaping the future of Europe. From 7 till 9 November, the Conference was a platform of dialogue between citizens, cities, regions and Europe for a real ‘bottom-up’ approach with concrete actions and commitments.

  • Sunday, 7 November 2021: Das TIETZ, Moritzstraße 20, 09111 Chemnitz
  • Monday, 8 and Tuesday, 9 November 2021: Allianz Forum, Pariser Platz 6, 10719 Berlin

Every year, the Berlin Conference focuses on the responsibility of Europeans in shaping the future of Europe. It aims to show how citizens, cities and regions can get involved in Europe. This year's motto "Europe Bottom-Up!" therefore not only describes our approach but can also be understood as an invitation to give some of one’s own creativity and commitment to Europe.

The 2021 edition of Berlin Conference kicks off on 7 November in Chemnitz, the European Capital of Culture 2025. Here, citizens, mayors and representatives of current candidate cities and former European Capitals of Culture will discuss culture-driven urban development as well as the importance of the periphery for Europe. 

In three plenary sessions on 8 and 9 November, the public conference days in Berlin will bring together representatives of civil society, arts and culture, and politics to discuss the significance of the "bottom-up" approach for the future of Europe. 

As every year, a highlight of the conference will be "The State of Europe Speech", given this year by Charles Michel, President of the European Council, on the evening of 9 November and followed by an open discussion with young Europeans. The speech will only be available via livestream.

As each year, EFA plays an important role within the conference, by preparing the content of some sessions and bringing the festivals' voice into the conversations. 

The current programme and the speakers of the conference as well as more detailed information on the platform project can be found at the links below.


8 November, 4.30 PM CET: 1st Plenary Session "Europe Bottom-Up" What Does Europe Need Now

Moderation: Kathrin Deventer, EFA / A Soul for Europe and Miguel Ángel Martín Ramos, A Soul for Europe

Opening by: Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Greeting by Doris Pack, Member of the Board of the platform Europe Bottom-Up

Discussion with: Steve Austen, A Soul for Europe | Gaby Bischoff, MEP | Elmar Brok, former MEP | Marion Döring, Wim Wenders Stiftung | Lena Düpont, MEP | Ulrich Fuchs, ECoC Marseille-Provence 2013 | Noemi Kiss, Writer | Mayor Renate Lucksch, Goslar | Andreas Nachama, House of One | Asa Richardsdottir, IETM | Walter Smerling, Stiftung Kunst und Kultur | Hannes Swoboda, former MEP | Helga Trüpel, former MEP | Serhij Zhadan, Writer

Among EFA Members and EFFE Hubs, Kai Amberla, Finland Festivals, Zane Estere Gruntmane, Aveiro 2027 (and member of EFA through Teatro Aveirense), and Peter Inkei, Budapest Observatory of Summa Artium will be active contributors.