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Conference on the Future of Europe Published: 29.04.2021

After one year and eight months of debates preparing the Conference on the Future of Europe, on 10 March 2021, the Presidents of three institutions: the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission signed the joint declaration specifying the final shape and mandate of the Conference.

Joint declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe

On 19 April 2021 a multilingual digital platform of the Conference was launched: http://futureu.europa.eu

MAIN PRINCIPLES

The proposal for establishing the conference has been presented by Ursula von der Leyen in July 2019, in the European Parliament. The goal of the Conference has been defined as a new push for the European democracy through organisation of the debate involving citizens, especially young Europeans, from all walks of life and corners of the Union, to address Europe’s challenges and priorities. The Union institutions jointly commit to listen to Europeans and to follow up on the recommendations made by Conference.  

STRUCTURES AND WORKING METHODS

The Conference will work under the Joint Presidency of the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission. The Executive Board includes representatives of the EP, the Council and the Commission (3 representatives and 4 observers from each institution), presidential troika of COSAC as observer as well as other observers. The Executive Board is responsible for taking decisions by consensus regarding the works of the Conference, prepares the plenary meetings, including the citizens’ input and their follow-up. The work of the Executive Board is assisted by common secretariat.

The Conference will work at the plenary sessions (at least every six months) and will be composed of representatives from three institutions, 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.

It is foreseen to organise representative European and national citizens’ panels, which will provide input to the plenary sessions.

Input from all Conference-related events will be published throughout the Conference via a multilingual digital platform.

FINAL OUTCOME

The results of the Conference will be presented to the Joint Presidency in a report, which is expected during the French EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2022.

THEMATIC SCOPE 

The topics discussed should be connected to the Strategic Agenda of the European Council, the 2019-2024 Political Guidelines of the Commission and the challenges brought about by Covid-19 pandemic, and will cover amongst other: health, climate change, social fairness, digital transformation, European rights and values, including the rule of law, migration challenges, security, the EU’s role in the world, ways to strengthen democratic processes governing the EU. Discussions can also cover better regulation, application of subsidiarity and proportionality, implementation of the EU’s acquis and transparency. Citizens are free to raise additional issues.

Documents presenting official positions of EU institutions on the Conference, which were the basis for the debate:

  • European Parliament: resolution of 15 January 2020 (2019/2990(RSP)), resolution of 18 June 2020 (2020/2657(RSP)),
  • European Commission: communication COM(2020) 27, 27 January 2020,
  • European Council: Conclusions on the general approach to the Conference on the Future of Europe, 12 December 2019,
  • Council of the EU: position as agreed at the Coreper, 24 June 2020.

The attached file includes references to basic documents, and information and on-line debates concerning the Conference. pdf


Key words: European Union, deepening of the EU, EU policies, institutional reform, national parliament