The European Hub for Civic Engagement is envisioned as a platform where European civil society and its Civic-Tech community connect.
Together, we will develop digital and analog strategies to collaborate more effectively as we work towards a pan-European civil society.
In Europe and around the world, anti-democratic forces are gaining power. In many European countries, civil society is being impeded and eroded, while in several countries civic organizations are even being forced to dissolve. This trend poses not only an existential democratic threat but also an impediment to continuing European integration.
While civil society is an essential factor for an integrated Europe, most organizations are still very much tied to their home nation-state. That is why many actors seek a transnational strengthening of European civil society to reinforce connections and share best practices, knowledge, and tools. However, Europe lacks a central institution for civil society to turn to for community, information, and support.
This is precisely where our Berlin-based think tank comes in. We believe that recent digital advances offer the opportunity to translate the potential of a pan-European civil society into reality. We believe the Hub can leverage these tools to facilitate a transnational culture of commitment and cross-border solidarity. That’s important because coordination means more than working together on projects – it also means creating opportunities to reflect on self-image and visibility in a space that goes beyond a single national frame of reference or area of conflict. Together with representatives of European civil society and its actors within the Civic-Tech community, we want to create a platform where a pan-European exchange of ideas, strategies and best practices can exist at the intersection of civil society, digital technology, and politics.
Within a one-year pilot phase, we seek to analyse concrete challenges and opportunities for civil society collaboration by hosting two workshops and one hackathon in three different European cities to consider potential solutions, e.g. in the form of digital rapid prototyping.
Das Progressive Zentrum (DPZ) is an independent Berlin think tank founded in 2007. DPZ aims to bring evidence-based knowledge and innovation-oriented policy ideas into the public debate and onto the political agenda, in accordance with the triad “Forethought – Networking – Dispute”. We are convinced that a central key to meeting current socio-political challenges lies in the critical-constructive debate on fundamental questions of the future: How do we as a society want to live together today and in the future? How can genuine social cohesion be achieved at regional, national and European level? What democratic innovations and habitual, cultural and institutional innovations are needed to keep our societies strong?