Today, President of the European Parliament Sassoli, Portuguese Prime Minister Costa on behalf of the Council and Commission President von der Leyen will sign the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe. After months of uncertainty and delay, the three main institutions have overcome their disagreements and doubts and finally endorsed a plan to launch the Conference on Europe’s Day in Strasbourg.
The Joint Declaration envisages a citizens-focused exercise based on inclusiveness, openness and transparency with the participation of civil society and stakeholders at European, national and regional level. The Joint Presidency will lead the Conference, while an Executive Board consisting of representatives from the three main institutions assisted by a Common Secretariat will be in charge of preparing the meetings of the Conference Plenary.
Uncertainty still remains over how the leadership arrangements will function, which topics the Conference will focus on and what the follow-up to the Conference will be. Therefore, all stakeholders involved must make this exercise of democracy meaningful by delivering on issues that are important for the future of Europe and that lie at the heart of citizens’ interests.
- Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe
- European Movement International: Statement on the Conference on the Future of Europe
- 9 May: Expected Launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe
The European Movement International position
As we argue in our updated policy position on “The Conference on the Future of Europe”, the Conference must be an opportunity to create a genuine dialogue between citizens from all walks of life and institutions on the future of the EU and the big challenges of our time, focusing on how to achieve a more effective and democratic European Union that delivers for its citizens. Together with the EU institutions, national, regional and local governments, organised civil society and Social Partners should be intimately involved in the governance, delivery and follow-up of the Conference.
The Conference needs to place trans-European issues at the top of its agenda and avoid nationally driven agendas. While allowing for a broad scope, including proposals for treaty changes, the Conference must remain open and flexible to emerging challenges, such as the current health, economic, and security crises, rising inequalities, and the climate crisis.
Moreover, we argue in our position that the intended follow-up of the Conference must be communicated from the start and must be linked to citizens’ input. The proposals that will emerge need to be turned into constructive reforms in a transparent manner and developed into tools for effective policy-making. The three EU Institutions should commit themselves to turning the suggestions into legislative proposals while remaining open to potential treaty revisions.