Scenario process: Digital Europe 2030 – The public sphere and digital sove­reignty

From March 27, 2020

In the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency 2020, Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft is bringing together an interdisciplinary group of experts to systematically design possible futures for Europe in a scenario process. The special focus is on the fundamental transformation of the political public sphere in the digital age. This should also be reflected in the context of Europe's digital sovereignty.

The scenario process will focus on the question of how the public sphere could or should develop under digital conditions by 2030 as a prerequisite for political decision-making and thus for the legitimation of democratic politics. This is no less than one of the basic requirements of European democracies.

How is the structural transformation of the public sphere in Europe proceeding? How do phenomena such as fragmentation and polarization develop in European societies? In the future, how will democracies deal with targeted interference in elections and with societal destabilisation through disinformation, which might also be driven by state actors? What margins for action will political agents in Europe have in the face of the rivalry between the digital superpowers and the power of large corporations? How can Europe be sovereign in this environment, i.e., how can it have the ability to act independently and in accordance with its own values and interests in the digital realm?

In three expert workshops between the end of March and the beginning of June 2020, we will develop a positive vision of the future of Europe's digital public sphere and sovereignty in 2030, and from this, derive concrete policy recommendations for the present.

As participants, we will welcome:

  • Dr. Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, Oxford University
  • Georg Diez, Journalist and Author
  • Dr. Katharina Gnath, Bertelsmann Foundation
  • Elisabeth von Hammerstein, Körber Foundation
  • Johannes Hillje, Das Progressive Zentrum
  • Fabiola Hochkirchen, Auxxo Beteiligungen GmbH
  • Dr. Julian Jaursch, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
  • Joachim Knodt, German Embassy in Moscow
  • Paul Leonhardt, German Federal Foreign Office
  • Constanze Maria Litt, European Commission
  • Dr. Leonard Novy, Institute for Media and Communication Politics
  • Clark Parsons, Internet Economy Foundation
  • Dr. Jana Puglierin, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Teresa Ritter, Bitkom e.V.
  • Dr. Thorsten Thiel, Weizenbaum-Institut for the Networked Society
  • Dr. Daniel Voelsen, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Participation by invitation only. For further information please contact

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