Citizens must be at the heart of the Conference on the Future of Europe
Today, the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament adopted recommendations on the mandate, structure, and composition of the Conference on the Future of Europe based on the final report of the Working Group on the Conference. These recommendations serve as a roadmap for the Conference on the Future of Europe ahead of inter-institutional negotiations with the Commission and Council and propose a bottom-up approach with different strands of input, including citizens, national and European parliamentarians, national governments, the EU institutions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and Social Partners. The European Parliament will adopt a resolution in early 2020.
Gabriele Bischoff, S&D member on the Working Group on the Conference on the Future of Europe said:
“In the European elections in 2019, citizens sent us a clear message that they wanted change. Europe needs to regain its strength to be able to act. We will start debating the future of Europe in 2020 but we need to do it in a different way. The S&D Group has led the way in citizen engagement in recent years, with a bottom-up approach to regular debate and conversations with local people all over Europe. We must have citizens and civil society at the heart of the Conference on the Future of Europe. With citizens’ agoras which are representative of our diverse European society, we want to ensure input from people from every corner of Europe. The future belongs to young people so the S&D Group also pushed for dedicated youth agoras in the Conference. With a bottom-up approach and the European Parliament leading the way, we can start a real conversation with people on a future Europe that we all believe in and that provides sufficient solutions for current and future challenges.”
Domènec Ruiz Devesa, S&D spokesperson for the Constitutional Affairs committee, added:
“Parliament has now reached broad consensus on the mandate, structure, and composition of the Conference on the Future of Europe, on the basis of the Opinion of the Constitutional Affairs Committee and the Final Report of the Working Group. These two different inputs should inform the Parliament´s resolution in view of the inter-institutional negotiations with the Commission and Council. We expect a Conference which is high in ambition and with strong citizens’ involvement that aims at concrete legislative and constitutional improvements to the European construction, which citizens clearly called for in the last European elections.With citizens having such an important role to play in the Conference, it is right that the European Parliament, as the EU’s only truly representative institution, is in the driving seat.”