Conference on the future of Europe: conclusion of the second plenary session – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology
This article is presented to you in association with the European Commission.
On Saturday 23 October, the second plenary meeting of the Conference was held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to discuss citizens’ contributions.
The 80 representatives of the European citizens’ panels took their seats as plenary members and the discussions focused on the contributions of citizens from:
The Conference on the Future of Europe is an unprecedented democratic exercise, open and inclusive, with a Multilingual digital platform, where all Europeans are invited to give their opinion on how to shape our common future on various issues.
The Co-Chairs of the Conference made the following statements from Strasbourg:
Guy Verhofstadt (European Parliament), said: “The enthusiasm in the citizens’ panels is great, the expectations are high, the formula works. The Plenary must now find answers to the questions raised, in the form of a shared vision for the future of Europe and concrete results on how we reform the European Union. European policy must live up to the occasion.
Gašper Dovžan (Presidency of the Council) said that: “Tens of thousands of citizens continue to discuss the future of Europe in European and national panels and events, as well as on the Platform. The Plenary will debate and present its recommendations in the areas that matter most to them, with no predetermined outcome. This is the first plenary meeting under the Slovenian Presidency of the Council and we were very pleased to welcome representatives of our Western Balkan partners as key stakeholders with whom we share responsibility for the future of the ‘EU.
Dubravka uica (Vice-President of the European Commission) said: “This is a historic moment when, for the first time, citizens deliberate alongside their elected officials at all levels. Bringing citizens at the heart of European policymaking will strengthen our representative democracies as we move towards our common future.
Extracts are available on EbS, and all video, audio and photo coverage (including edited video) can be downloaded from Parliament Multimedia Center. A press briefing recorded with the three co-chairs is also available.
The next plenary conference will take place on December 17-18. In the meantime, citizen contributions to the Conference will continue to flow:
- the European citizens’ panels will meet online in November, and the first two will finalize their recommendations and present them to plenary in December;
- the Multilingual digital platform remains available for citizens ‘ideas and events, which will form part of the third report due in December and which will feed into the final sessions of the European citizens’ panels and the forthcoming plenary conference meetings; and
- national panels and events are still organized in the Member States.
The Plenary was prepared by the Working Groups, which held their founding meetings on Friday.
The Plenary includes representatives of the European Parliament (108), the Council (54, i.e. two per Member State) and the European Commission (3), as well as all national parliaments (108) on an equal footing, and of citizens (108). Within the framework of the citizens’ section, representatives of European citizens’ panels (80), representatives of national events or national citizens’ panels (27, i.e. one per Member State) and the president of the European Youth Forum participate in the deliberations. In addition, representatives of the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee (18 each), elected representatives of regional and local authorities (6 each) and representatives of the social partners (12) and civil society (8) participate as members. For the first time, representatives from the Western Balkans participated as key partners.
On Panels and the Multilingual Digital Platform
The multilingual digital platform collected 8,600 ideas and 14,900 comments from over 31,000 participants. The four European citizens’ panels held their first sessions, bringing together around 800 citizens from across the EU. There were also over 3,180 other events across the European Union which brought together over 140,000 participants.
The reports of the first sessions of the Panels and the lists of components and sub-themes that citizens have selected for their subsequent discussions are available on the site Multilingual digital platform:
Panel 3 Climate change, environment / health; and
Panel 4 EU in the world / migration