Conference on the Future of Europe
On Europe Day, 9 May 2021, the European Parliament in Strasbourg hosted the inaugural event of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Conference is a participatory process set up jointly by Parliament, Council and Commission. Its aim is to give citizens the chance to share their opinions about EU policies in different fields of actions.
The Conference is intended to be an open political process from May 2021 until Spring 2022. The main hub of the Conference is the digital platform: it is a way to get involved and speak up at the Conference. Here Europeans can share their thoughts on Europe and the changes which need to happen, see what others have to say, find events near them, organise their own event and follow the progress and the outcome of the Conference. President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, stated: “The platform represents a key tool to allow citizens to participate and have a say on the Future of Europe. We must be certain that their voices will be heard and that they have a role in the decision-making, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is a unique and timely opportunity for European citizens to debate on Europe’s challenges and priorities. European Institutions have committed to listen to Europeans and to follow up, within their sphere of competences, on the recommendations made.
By spring 2022, the Conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance on the future of Europe.
How is the Conference taking place?
- Multilingual digital platform – this will be the place for citizens to share ideas and send online submissions. They will be collected, analysed, monitored and published throughout the Conference.
- Decentralised events – online, in-person and hybrid events held by people and organisations as well as national, regional and local authorities across Europe.
- European Citizens’ Panels – such panels will discuss different topics and put forward their proposals; they will be representative in terms of geographic origin, gender, age, socioeconomic background and/or level of education.
- Conference Plenaries – these are meant to ensure that the recommendations from the national and European citizens’ panels, grouped by themes, are debated without a predetermined outcome and without limiting the scope to pre-defined policy areas. The Conference Plenary will be composed of representatives from the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission, as well as representatives from all national Parliaments, on an equal footing and citizens. The Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee, the social partners, and civil society will also be represented. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will be associated when the international role of the EU is discussed. Representatives of key stakeholders may be invited. The Executive Board will draw and publish the conclusions of the Conference Plenary.
Many fields of interest are ready to be discussed and collect ideas and voices from all Europe. Among them, Digital transformation, A stronger economy, social justice and jobs, Education, culture, youth and sport, Health, Climate and the environment… and many more. As adult educators, the above-mentioned areas are crucial in teachers and trainers’ efforts and initiatives.
To access the range of topics at the center for this discussion, please visit the page: https://futureu.europa.eu/processes
To learn more about the Conference of Europe process, its objectives and timeline, please visit the portal: https://futureu.europa.eu/
If you missed the inaugural event, you can still have a look at it.