Every 10 years, the European Movement International and the City of The Hague host the commemoration of the famous Congress of the Hague, which lay the foundations for European integration and the foundation of the European Movement.

To mark the 70th anniversary of The Hague Congress we are gathering together citizens movements from across Europe, stakeholders representing society at large, political parties, academia, business, trade unions, youth organisations, local government, environmental movements. We want to recreate the spirit of 1948, gather in a sense of optimism and purpose to discuss and debate the future direction Europe needs to take to meet the social, economic, environmental and geopolitical challenges of our time.

The two-day festival is open, ‘future-oriented’ and engaging a wide range of civic networks. The festival is divided in 5 ‘streams’ called Citizens Debate, Citizens Challenge, Citizens Imagine, Citizens Build, Citizens Connect. Our intention is to put the spotlights on how civic initiatives and movements play a vital role in major transitions in Europe. The festival will open spaces for constructive dialogue, especially about topics that currently divide Europe. It will engage beyond these divides and contribute to building the future together.

The 2-day festival on May 24-25, 2018 is the culmination of a pan-European Sharing Europe events, launched in mid-February, and will stimulate dialogue and exchanges prior to the festival itself. The festival is not ‘partisan’ but aims to create sharing spaces and engage in productive dialogue, insert innovative ideas and practices and join efforts.





In 2018, Europe finds itself at crossroads. It is clear that the economic and cultural impact of globalization, the geopolitical shifts in power, the acceleration of technological and social developments, make themselves felt. Regional conflicts and migration put tremendous pressures on populations around the globe, leaving many with a feeling of disconnection. The response of some is to retreat to what seemed once trusted: neonationalist movements are growing in many places. The constitutional narratives of the European Union may have lost their direct resonance with many citizens. At the same time, many results of European cooperation have become daily reality and taken-for-granted. Retreat is not the best option.

Values like solidarity, equality, fraternity, liberty have not lost their relevance. On the contrary, they are very pertinent today. But it is clear that this is a time in which fundamental transitions are ongoing and new inspiration is sought: in new narratives and imagination, in also – very concretely –new practices and innovations, in new forms of connecting and collaborating, and in experimenting with new institutions.

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