The Conference on the Future of Europe aims to promote dialogue between citizens, experts and EU institutions.
The recent launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe couldn’t come at a better time – across Europe people’s lives are blighted by the same problems; inequality, hardship, precarious work, weakened public services, discrimination, powerlessness over decisions that affect our lives, and environmental destruction and pollution.
What is the Conference on the Future of Europe?
The Conference on the Future of Europe is a citizen-led series of debates and discussions that will enable people from across Europe to share their ideas and help shape our common future. The Conference is the first of its kind: as a major pan-European democratic exercise, it offers a new public forum for an open, inclusive, and transparent debate with citizens around a number of key priorities and challenges.
According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, 60% of Maltese think ordinary citizens should actively participate in the conference and 76% of Europeans agree that it represents significant progress for democracy within the EU.
The Conference sets itself the goal of giving citizens a greater role in shaping EU policies and ambitions, improving the Union’s resilience to crises, be it environmental or health-related. It will create a new public forum for an open, inclusive, transparent and structured debate with Europeans around the issues that matter to them and affect their everyday lives.
The Conference will use various fora, including digital, and where possible, also physical formats, respecting COVID-19 rules. An interactive multilingual digital platform will allow citizens and stakeholders to submit ideas online, and help them participate in or organise events.
The platform, and all events organised under the auspices of the Conference, are to be based on principles of inclusiveness, openness and transparency, with respect for privacy and EU data protection rules. European Citizens’ panels organised at European level are to be broadcast, and all online submissions are to be made public.
Friends of the Earth Malta will also be announcing a series of online events which will eventually be linked to this initiative. More information about these events will be published on our newsletter and social media.
One can only hope that this poll represents a decisive wake-up call for Parliament to stress the need to reform the Union and at least make some capital out of the unique chance that the Conference undoubtedly represents.
FoE Malta believes that this initiative, which aims to improve citizen participation in the political system, still represents a ground-breaking concept and an opportunity for citizens be more actively involved than just during the European Elections.
Thus, it deserves to be fully supported since it could be an opportunity for a strong civic space so that people and organisations can campaign for the public interest. We believe that Europe can be part of creating a more sustainable, caring, democratic, resilient, equal and inclusive world.
Find out more and participate: https://futureu.europa.eu/
Friends of the Earth Malta gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Friends of the Earth Malta and cannot be regarded as reflecting the opinion of the European Union. The European Parliament cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained.