In cooperation with the Council of Europe and our partner organisations, Kristiansand municipality will convene the fifth European Conference on Democracy and Human Rights on 6 May, 2024 in Kristiansand.  

The European order has never been more profoundly challenged than through the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is in every way contradictory to respect for democracy, human rights and our fundamental values. It is time to reflect on the status of Europe.

Watch the streaming from 5 May 2023

Did you miss out on the European Conference 2023? Here is a link to the streaming.


Photo credit: Kjell Inge Søreide.

Where do we stand, and what are we moving towards? The implications of the war are grave and lasting. It is necessary to consider how we can sustain and defend a functioning system of European cooperation. An important question for European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the EU, is how cooperation can be sustained without Russian participation. There is also much concern and uncertainty among European citizens about the future of Europe. Therefore, defining the status and the way ahead for European cooperation is the main theme of the 4th European Conference on Democracy and Human Rights.

What to expect?

One of the key topics which will be addressed at the conference is the upcoming fourth Summit of the Council of Europe, which will take place in Reykjavik mid-May. The ramifications of the war in Ukraine for human rights, European relations and freedom of speech and artistic reflections will also be on the agenda.

The conference brings together high-level speakers and panelists from the Council of Europe, the EU and the parliamentary assemblies. There will be several speakers from the Nordic countries, including Iceland, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of Europe. Other European countries, such as the Ukraine, will also be represented, as well as international organizations such as Reporters sans Frontières, Association of European Journalists, PEN, Historians without borders etc.

We look forward to welcoming public institutions, media actors, parliamentarians, international organisations, as well as NGOs, companies, foundations, trade unions, thinktanks, universities and civil society at large.

Some of the speakers from 2023

Complete list of speakers

Click here for the 2023 speakers 

Democracy Week

The European Conference is the main event of Kristiansand’s Democracy Week, which takes place from 2 - 8 May. This is a week filled with panel discussions, political conversations and cultural events addressing challenges regarding democracy, human rights and freedom of expression. There will be several high-level bilateral and multilateral meetings, diplomatic participation, and wide media coverage.