The Europe’s Future Team again played an active role at the 2024 Center for European Policy Studies Ideas Lab in Brussels. Between March 4 and March 5, the team presented results from the latest eupinions poll on EU citizens’ attitudes toward the war in Ukraine ahead of the EU elections, discussed Ukraine’s reconstruction and sustainable recovery, led a discussion on the future of cohesion policy as an inclusive transition through the European Green Deal, and also forecasted key questions impacting the future of the EU.

The CEPS traditional scene setting session: Eupinions – The War and the Vote

Monday, March 4th, from 10:30 to 12:00 CET

In the first session of the event Isabell Hoffmann, Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Stiftung, joined the panel setting the scene for the 11th CEPS Ideas Lab with the results of our new eupinions survey “The War and the Vote”.

In the midst of a tumultuous geopolitical climate, underscored by the ongoing war in Ukraine, the upcoming European Parliament elections in June will be a critical juncture for the EU. However, if experience serves well, we are approaching another high-stakes-low-turnout election – despite the fact that the EU will have to confront many challenges, both internal and external, over the next few years.

This session delved into the dramatic shifts within the EU’s political landscape, where an increasing tilt towards right-wing governance is evident. Concurrently, we are observing a significant shift as traditional liberal parties, once dominant in the centrist sphere, are being increasingly challenged, even relegated to the peripheries of power. This political dynamic, both within and outside the EU, raises crucial questions about the future of leadership in the Union.

The full study is available here.


  • Dita Charanzova, Vice-President, European Parliament
  • René Moerland, Publisher, Euractiv
  • Isabell Hoffmann, Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Stiftung
  • David Bates, Vice/Char, Europe, Edelman Global Advisory
  • Vessela Tcherneva, Deputy Director, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Sophia Russack, Researcher, CEPS (Moderator)

RANGE: Forecasting the Future of the EU and Transatlantic Relations

In addition, we were able to present the RANGE Forecasting Tool at the kick-off event and promote it via the Lab’s conference app by conducting a forecast among the Lab participants. They answered three questions related to the next Commission presidency, US aid to Ukraine and the potential for qualified majority voting (QMV) in the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). A total of 150 forecasts were recorded and 90 new forecasters were recruited to the RANGE pool.

Respondents saw a 77% chance that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen would run for a second term, a 55% chance that the US would pass another substantial military-economic aid package for Ukraine before the US elections, and a 45% chance that a CFSP decision would be made by QMV by the end of 2025.

Brandon Bohrn presented the results of the forecasting in the wrap-up session, so that we were once again able to ensure good visibility for the Bertelsmann Stiftung at the end of the Lab.: Forecasting the Future of the EU and Transatlantic Relations.

Watch the opening session of the 2024 CEPS Ideas Lab here:

Charting the way forward: Ukraine’s reconstruction and sustainable recovery

Monday, March 4th, from 15:30 to 16:45 CET

Ukraine’s reconstruction will be a formidable task, requiring its international partners to be fully engaged in formulating an equally formidable plan for the country’s sustainable recovery. The reconstruction and recovery process will unfold as Ukraine seeks greater integration into the EU, which has progressed rapidly since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

This discussion delved into the current challenges, needs, and opportunities for Ukraine’s sustainable recovery and reconstruction, aligning with the EU’s enlargement agenda and Ukraine’s EU membership aspirations. The session explord pressing questions, including:

  • has Ukraine’s reconstruction process already started and, if so, is it sufficient?
  • How and when should international support and funds be scaled up for Ukraine’s reconstruction?
  • What innovative strategies exist for mobilising private capital?
  • What should we expect from Ukraine’s 2024 Recovery Conference? And what if Ukraine loses the war?

This session brought together high-level policymakers and experts to address these crucial questions and generate innovative ideas that could lead to actionable recommendations.


  • Jean Pierre Froehly, Head of Task Force on Ukraine’s Recovery, German Federal Foreign Office
  • Miriam Kosmehl, Senior Expert Eastern Europe and European Neighbourhood, Bertelsmann Stiftung
  • Solmaz Sharifi, Political Officer, U.S. Mission to the EU
  • Anna Jarosz-Friis, Director, Ukraine Service, DG Near, European Commission
  • Tinatin Akhvlediani, Research Fellow, CEPS

Rethinking cohesion policy to ensure an inclusive transition through the European Green Deal

Tuesday, March 5th, from 11:15 to 12:30 CET

The European Green Deal aims to facilitate a sustainable transition, ensuring that no region is left behind. Transitioning to a climate-neutral economy presents both challenges and opportunities for European regions and their economic structures.

In turn, these regional shifts will fundamentally impact Europe’s economic prosperity. Cohesion policy, the primary EU tool for addressing regional disparities, must be revised to effectively respond to these new challenges and opportunities.

In this session, we provided insights into how regions could evolve through the green transition, and discussed how cohesion policy should be adapted to ensure no region is left behind. A number of points were identified, such as a functioning multi-level governance system or the leveraging of synergies with other policy areas, which are central to a realigned European cohesion policy with the aim of strengthening social cohesion in the EU.


  • Thomas Wobben, Director, Committee of the Regions
  • Monica Scatasta, Head, EIB Regional Development Division
  • Thomas Schwab, Bertelsmann Stiftung
  • Alison Hunter, Economic and Public Policy Consultancy, EPPC

Click here to view the entire CEPS Ideas Lab program.