7 Takeaways on How to Accelerate Europe

In June 2019, we hosted the first ELF Idea Accelerator. Policy experts, journalists, professors and politicians came together to discuss some of the most topical issues of the EU agenda.

Here are some takeaways from the sessions:

Finnish Presidency

  • It is an interesting time to take on the presidency, with discussions on topics such as EU top jobs, Brexit and long-term budget (MFF);
  • Global climate leadership, strengthen the rule of law and human rights, competence and socially-inclusive European Union will be the top 3 topics for the Finnish presidency.

Future directions for a liberal Europe

  • The EU of the next 5 years will need to choose whether to be a community of trade and rules or a community of human rights and freedom;
  • Liberals shall be positive about the future. Renew Europe will increase the influence of the liberals in the European Parliament. Things are changing, and populists don’t have all the answers.

A Progressive Liberal Vision for Migration

  • We need to talk about migration as liberals and show that we have a story;
  • To liberals, migration is a story of hope and realism: we need to be able to manage migration better and make sure that all benefit;
  • Focusing on the long-term vision is key.

Quality of the EU governance  

  • The Spitzenkandidaten system doesn’t work, we need a direct election of the President of the European Commission;
  • European citizens should have the right to know their governments’ positions in the European Council.

Disrupting the Transport sector

  • New companies on the long-distance transport market have been able to offer more affordable services with more flexible timetables and destinations;
  • State-owned train services are often overpriced but there are many background costs such as maintaining the tracks and infrastructure. But railways and train companies in general are not averse to innovation. Indeed, advocators of trains push for greater competition on the tracks to allow better services and more affordable fares;
  • Disrupters in the transport sector are important carriers of innovation. We cannot wait for regulation to be in place before we begin innovating, or we will suffocate new ideas.

Will Terminator be Your Next Colleague?

  • The EU’s Coordinated Plan for Artificial Intelligence is very useful for Member States that want to move on AI to make all compatible.

Fores: Hottie of the year

  • EU emissions trading system is a true liberal dream as it is a market mechanism, especially designed to tackle climate change;
  • There are huge growth potentials in the green area that could bring about financial growth and benefits.


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