Future of Europe: another Conference Plenary dedicated to citizens’ proposalsEuropean Union, 2022
Joined by Ukrainian citizens and MPs, the Plenary dedicated a second full session to taking stock of recommendations by the Conference’s Citizens’ Panels.
On 11-12 March, the Conference Plenary took stock of 88 recommendations made by the European Citizens’ Panels on ‘EU in the world / migration’ and on ‘a stronger economy, social justice and jobs / education, culture, youth and sport / digital transformation’, as well as related recommendations from the national Citizens’ Panels. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the EU’s reaction to it featured prominently in the topical debates of this weekend.
Representatives of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, Parliamentarians from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and representatives of the association PromoUkraina, took the floor to share their views during the conversation on ‘EU in the world’. Representatives from the Western Balkans were also participating. You can re-watch their speeches here.
Extracts of the Conference Plenary are available on EbS. All video, audio and photo coverage from the Working Groups and the Plenary debates is available on Parliament’s Multimedia Centre.
Co-Chairs of the Conference’s Executive Board:
Guy Verhofstadt (European Parliament) commented: “The dramatic events in Ukraine are sending shockwaves through our European Union, and this was very tangible throughout this Plenary’s debates. The conclusions of this Conference will need to reflect that. It’s clear the future will be different from what we could imagine even a few weeks ago. So it will be necessary for Europe to change, to deal with that future and with the new world order emerging.”
Clément Beaune (French Presidency of the Council) stated: “We have now received all the recommendations formulated by European citizens. The Conference Plenary must get to work to translate these into concrete proposals. In the light of dramatic events unfolding on our continent, reforming and reinforcing our Union is imperative.”
Dubravka Šuica (Vice-President of the European Commission) said: “While we are engaged in an exercise that brings us closer to citizens, Putin is launching military action against Ukrainian citizens that had voiced European aspirations. This is an attack on our values and our way of life. Being European means that you are part of a unique project, one that can everyone to live their full potential and exercise their rights. That is why now, in these horrific circumstances, the Conference is more important than ever, it is needed more than ever.”
On 25 – 26 March, the Conference Plenary will work on its proposals, which will be based on the recommendations from both national and European Citizens’ Panels, the input gathered from the Multilingual Digital Platform and debates in the Conference Plenary and Working Groups, grouped by themes.
The recommendations of the Panel on ‘EU in the world / migration’, adopted at its final meeting in Maastricht (Netherlands) in February, are available here. The recommendations of the Panel on ‘A stronger economy, social justice and jobs / education, culture, youth and sport / digital transformation’, which were finalised in Dublin (Ireland) in February, can be found here. In each European Citizens’ Panel, around 200 Europeans of different ages and backgrounds, from all Member States, met (in person and remotely) to discuss and adopt recommendations on the challenges facing Europe now and in the future.
The Conference Plenary comprises representatives from the European Parliament, the Council, the European Commission, national Parliaments, and citizens. The Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee, the social partners, and civil society are also represented. The Plenary will, based on consensus, put forward its proposals to the Executive Board, for the latter to draw up the Conference’s conclusions in full collaboration and transparency with the Plenary.