The plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which met for the last time on 29-30 April, reached agreements on a set of 49 detailed proposals covering a wide range of issues, from climate change to health, migration and the EU in the world. It has been the goal of an exceptional year-long journey of debate, deliberation and collaboration between citizens across Europe on what the Europe they want to live in looks like.
Representatives of the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and national parliaments expressed their consensus on the proposals. The citizens who participated in the plenary session also expressed their positions on these proposals.
Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President responsible for Democracy and Demography, as co-chair of the Conference, led the Commission’s contribution to the implementation of this important outcome of the current mandate. She said: “Our Conference is in its final chapter. I can proudly say that, by working together in this innovative process of deliberative democracy, we are collectively delivering concrete results. Our committed and inspiring citizens have shown us the direction in which they want Europe to move forward. Now it is up to us, as EU institutions, to make it happen. In the aftermath of the pandemic and faced with the reality of a brutal war of aggression on European soil, it was more important than ever to see democracy at work and to see citizens in action.”
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, who chaired the health working group, said: “We can never be certain about the future. Recent events – a global pandemic, an illegal war on our doorstep, a race to stop climate change before it is too late – show how uncertain it can be. Europe’s strength in the face of any challenge lies in our ability to debate and exchange views, to rally around our core values, and so strengthen our democracy and our democratic institutions. The Conference exemplifies this in a remarkable way. I would especially like to thank our participating citizens, who have thrown themselves with determination and enthusiasm into this process. Engaging with citizens on the future policies of the EU is a very special experience that helps to open up our thinking. Without them, the Conference could not have succeeded.”
Vice-President Věra Jourová, who chaired the working group on values and rights, rule of law and security, commented: “I would like to congratulate first and foremost the citizens, whose energy and creativity made the conference a success. It is they who have signalled the direction in which they want the European Union to move forward. They have called for a more ambitious, decisive and assertive EU, more focused on people’s problems and less on processes. Citizens want democracy and its values to be actively protected and defended. It is now up to us to ensure that we can deliver on these demands. All the Union’s institutions and the Member States must take them seriously. We cannot afford to lose the trust that citizens place in shaping Europe’s future.”
The Conference on the Future of Europe will be formally closed on 9 May – Europe Day – in Strasbourg, with the presentation by the co-chairs of the Conference’s Executive Committee of a final report containing these proposals to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The three institutions will then examine how to follow them up effectively, each within its own sphere of competence and in accordance with the Treaties.
The aim of the Schuman Declaration was to secure long-term peace in Europe. In the aftermath of the conflict in Ukraine, the Europe Day 2022 events will underline the EU’s commitment to peace, as well as to universal values such as freedom and democracy, and demonstrate unity and solidarity with Ukraine and its people.
The European institutions invite citizens to a wide range of online and face-to-face activities in the Member States and around the world. Debates, discussions, a radio programme and several social media live events will focus on the work of the institutions, while concerts and cultural events will highlight the spirit of the EU.