Call for Applications: Strengthening the EU as a Global Actor


About the event

What comes to your mind when you think about the European Union and its role in the world? The fact that we think about this diverse group of 27 countries as a global influential actor is already a success story in itself. Who would have thought, back in the 1950s when six countries joined forces over a handful of common goals, that by 2023 it would not only more than quadruple its size, but also become a role model for intergovernmental cooperation? Citizens enjoy the freedom of movement, be it for leisure, education or employment, and agreements between Member States benefit individuals everywhere. Economy and innovation flow through the common market, and international trade agreements and position the EU as an economic powerhouse. Elected officials from all Member States promote a form of diplomatic exchange and legislation, which shows that we can overcome differences and create a better future for the next generations.

All these factors contribute to the EU’s role on the world stage, where it is now competing with established economic and defence leaders like the USA while facing system competition with China and its growing influence in the EU’s partner countries. With increased influence also comes more responsibility, as the EU is navigating the consequences of its global trade, as well as ways in which it can use its leverage to promote democracy and human rights abroad. Trying to find answers to these current challenges leads us right back home, to see what has to change within the EU. That is why our upcoming hackathon aims at challenging young liberals to explore how the EU can strengthen its role as a global actor from within!

Four teams of four young liberals from all over Europe will discuss proposals to address the following aspects of the main challenge:

The EU as Security & Defence Actor: What role does the EU take on in an age of increased tensions like the war in Ukraine and how can it organise itself better internally to prepare for future scenarios? What could our future security architecture look like or what mechanisms may be put in place?

The EU’s Role in a New World Order: The future of transatlantic relations and the global hierarchy in the wake of rising systems competition remain uncertain. What role does the EU aim to take on and what does it need to change at home to become a more unified actor that can take on global leadership?

The EU as Economic Powerhouse: Economy and trade are the EU’s most powerful tools, but with great power comes great responsibility: How can new directives like the due diligence provision strengthen the EU as a global trade player, when it comes to aspects of responsibility in sustainability and human rights?

The EU’s Role in Promoting Human Rights & Democracy: How can the EU be taken seriously as a global value hegemon if democracy is deteriorating within its borders? What is the future of approaches like the rule of law conditionality mechanism within the EU and do foreign democracy tools like the Everything But Arms Agreement work or do we need new approaches?

What's to win?

At the end of the hackathon, all teams will pitch their idea to the judges. While all proposals will be published, only one team will get the chance to win the competition and travel to the FNF Annual Conference in Berlin in October 2023 to present their winning ideas to a global audience of liberal stakeholders.

How to register

This hackathon will take place in Lisbon, Portugal from the 11th to the 13th of May. If selected, travel and accommodation costs will be covered by FNF Europe

Please kindly register here by 16th of April: