(updated on 10 May 2022)
The Commission promised the Conference on the Future of Europe at the European Parliament at the end of 2019, and already announced it with a Communication on 22 January 2020. It had to be postponed due to various reasons, but mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its uncertainties.
However, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU and the EU Commission announced its revival with various steps in order to be officially launched on 9 May, the Day of Europe, and start with citizens’ participation before that date through the implementation of a digital platform.
On 10 March 2021, the President of the European Parliament, the Prime Minister of Portugal and the Commission’s President signed the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe, a series of debates to enable every European citizen to share their ideas about the way ahead.
The Executive Board (Parliament, Council and Commission) met on 24 March and on 7 April at the European Parliament. The inaugural event of the Conference took place on 9 May 2021, the Day of Europe, in Strasbourg, and this is the speech by President von der Leyen. The Board approved on 9 May the Rules of Procedure to set out the composition of the Plenary and the way it will work.
The debates focused on ten categories: climate change, health, jobs and economy, EU in the world, freedom and rights, digital, EU democracy, migration, education/culture/youth/sport, and other ideas (the latter to allow citizens to come up with further topics).
A multilingual Digital Platform was launched on 19 April 2021 to ensure that citizens, civil society organizations, and other participants could start contributing without delay.
Here you can access the latest news on the Commission’s website.
The plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe (COFE) has adopted its Consolidated list of draft 49 proposals and 325 measures on how to change the functioning of the EU on 30 April 2022. The Report on the Final Outcome has been handed over during the COFE closing event which has taken place in Strasbourg on 9 May 2022, the Day of Europe.
There are some voices among member states asking for a new Treaty to make the EU more transparent and accountable and better respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic or Russia’s war in Ukraine. We will follow with interest this discussion, as it could also be an opportunity for border regions to have a more relevant role in the treaties. The CoR discusses on 20 May the situation of regions facing particular handicaps in the sense of art. 174 of the Treaty.
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