So, as we approach a pivotal period in global politics, 2024 stands out as a year of significant democratic engagement. With more than 50 nations casting their ballots – representing over a quarter of the global populace – we stand at the cusp of decisions that will shape the Western Alliance and our collective future leading to 2030. Against this backdrop, the European Parliamentary elections from 6 – 9 June, the US Presidential election on 5 November, and the anticipated UK elections in the autumn, are set to have a profound impact on the Western Alliance’s trajectory towards 2030.

With this in mind, the network will continue to delve into the themes set out above in both our scheduled events and in additional ones. We have planned our first three activities this year to delve into the core of what is happening, informed by data from specialists.

We kicked off our 2024 programme with a virtual conversation featuring Klaus Welle, Chairman Academic Council of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, who discussed ‘Electoral trends in the EU, the UK, and the US’.

Our programme will proceed on 16 April with an in-person meeting, featuring Ajit Jaokar (Oxford University) who will introduce a report he has drawn up, recently released by the European Internet Forum (EIF), called the ‘Digital World towards 2040’.

On 29 May, we will have a virtual conversation with Franck Debie on the main themes from the latest ‘ESPAS Global trends report: looking to 2040’, to be released in April.

More details of these events will be provided in due course.

We eagerly anticipate your participation in our programme this year as we continue to investigate what these developments mean for our politics, economy, and society up to the year 2030.