The European Civic Academy was launched by the European Civic Forum in 2016 to connect and build bridges between civil society and academic agendas, to provide space for civil society actors to discuss with academics and identify priorities and possibilities for collaborations related to the role of CSOs in enhancing civic and democratic spaces in Europe.The objectives of the European Civic Academy are threefold: (1) mapping civil society needs in terms of research priorities; (2) enable civic actors to gain knowledge about existing research, methodology and approaches to inspire a strengthening and a renewal action framework; (3) increase awareness among academic researchers about civil society needs and priorities and identify collaborative opportunities for future research.Five editions have been organised so far: in 2016 in La Rochelle (France); in 2017 in Brussels; in 2019 in Slubice (Poland); in 2021, online; and finally in 2022 in Florence (Italy). 


The most recent editon of the European Civic Academy was held in Florence on 10-11 November. ECA 2022 took place in the framework of 2022Firenze – a large gathering of civil society to mark 20 years since the first European Social Forum in Florence.

The theme of ECA 2022 was ‘Capturing the winds of change – how can democratic civil society drive systemic change?’. The event took placed in a pakced-out room in Palazzo Strozzi, overlooking the city. Bringing together activists and academics from across Europe and beyond, participants discussed a wide range of topics, from how to stay resilent in the face of defeat to what is the future of progressive politics.