European Civic Academy 2023 – Read our key takeaways!

08 January 2024 | European Civic Academy, Events

On 19-20 September, 100 activists, civic actors and academics gathered at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies for the sixth edition of the European Civic Academy. The discussions focused on the theme “Building collective empowerment towards just and inclusive societies”. Read our key takeaways from the event!


For decades, rising social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities combined with weakened social protections have fuelled anger, distrust and polarisation. This in turn has contributed to political disenfranchisement and apathy.

It is urgent that we rebuild collective agency to reverse these trends in politics and society through civic and democratic perspectives at all levels: local, national and European.

It was against this backdrop that the European Civic Academy 2023 was held on 19-20 September in Brussels. The event brought together practitioners and activists from diverse organisations and movements with academics to deepen their understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead. Participants were selected from an open call for applicants and financially supported to attend the conference. The aim was to give them the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and gain a holistic understanding of the topic to inspire a renewal of our collective social and political action.

Here are some of our key takeaways from the event:

  • People, connections and values are the strengths of civil society
  • Democratising politics also means shifting responsibilities
  • Political renewal, synergies and solidarity are a cure for precarity
  • Systems of oppression within civil soc iety must be recognised and dismantled