The main goal of the ELF event is to define a smart and sustainable society in the context of the European Union (EU) and to identify critical challenges and opportunities for the EU as regards smart and sustainable EU policy reforms with a particular focus on the Covid-19 pandemic and the EU’s response to this unprecedented crisis, primarily through smart and sustainable development. Namely, the Covid-19 pandemic further highlights the interrelations between our natural and societal systems. As far as the environment is concerned, by 2050, Europe aims to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent. The analysis of the situations in the smart and sustainable society in the European Union will be a basis for detecting the policy implications and subsequent guidelines for governments and the EU. These measures should provide concrete content-wise help for member states to rebuild economies in response to pandemic-related disruptions. Thus, the proposed topic is essential, especially from the perspective of the modern EU society during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, where democratic and liberal values and ideas represent a necessary basis for effective and efficient sustainable development. 

Admission free online registration is required until Tuesday (29.11.2022). Additional info is available on


12:55-13:00 Participants connect to the online
            (Zoom link:
13:00-14:40  Workshop: Europe´s “man on the moon moment”: questions on Europe´s pathway towards climate-neutrality
Moderators: Nina Tomaževič | University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
                    Tereza Čajková| University of British Columbia, Canada
                    Zara Jesenek Dolinar| Erasmus University, Netherlands

14:40-15:00 Break

15:00-15:10 Addresses by the organiser and welcome speeches
            Aleksander Aristovnik | Director, Zavod 14 and University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
            Milosz Hodun | Member of the Board of Directors, ELF and Projekt: Polska Association, Poland

15:10-16:45 Publication presentation: The Road to a Smart and Sustainable European Union

Mapping the road towards green, sustainable and inclusive European Union: Science-based approach or ideological warfare?
Rok Spruk                                                                                                                       
Is monitoring progress towards sustainability straightforward? Evidence from the EU-28
Nikos Chatzistamoulou, Konstantinos Kounetas

Unmet expectations? An analysis of the adaption to country-specific recommendations in the fields of energy and infrastructure in Germany
Julia Jänisch                                                                                                                                                  

Waste management and circular economy: Lessons from the Greek experience
Kleoniki Pouikli, Ariti Tsoukala

Artificial Intelligence: Different perspectives and the case of Slovenia
Eva Murko                                                                                                                                                                     

Energy transition in the EU: The case of Croatia
Dejan Ravšelj                                                                                                                                                               

Smart cities in Romania and European Green Deal
Melania-Gabriela Ciot     

Towards sustainable recovery in the European Union: The experience of the Spanish recovery plan
Beatriz Pérez de las Heras                                                                                                                                              

Moderators: Nina Tomaževič | University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
                     Dejan Ravšelj | Zavod 14, Slovenia

16:45-17:00 Break
17:00-18:25 Roundtable:Smart and sustainable EU –  a call for an adequate policy response
                      Rok Spruk, Assistant Professor at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
                      Melania-Gabriela Ciot, Associate Professor at the University Babes-Bolyai, Romania
                      Kostantinos Kounetas, Associate Professor at the University of Patras, Greece     
                      Tomaž Lanišek, Development and Smart City Manager, City Municipality of Kranj, Slovenia

Moderators: Nina Tomaževič | University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
                     Dejan Ravšelj | Zavod 14, Slovenia

18:25-18:30 Concluding remarks

















An event organised by the European Liberal Forum (ELF). Supported by Zavod 14 in collaboration with Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit. and University of Ljubljana Co-funded by the European Parliament.

Neither the European Parliament nor the European Liberal Forum are responsible for the content of the programme, or for any use that may be made of it. The views expressed herein are those of the speaker(s) alone. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the European Parliament and/or the European Liberal Forum asbl.