Participants in the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), the European Union’s democratic program, met in Dublin, Ireland this weekend (February 25-27) for the final meeting before the plenary session of the conference in March.
The weekend program includes the final version of the recommendations of the first European Citizens’ Panel on “Strong Economy, Social Justice, Jobs”, “Education, Culture, Youth, Sport” and “Digital Transformation”.
This is the last Citizens’ Assembly of CoFoE – an experiment in deliberative democracy in which EU citizens participate in policy making – before the Plenary Event in March. The other three bodies have been finalizing their recommendations for the past three months.
Support for Ukraine
The meeting began with an unexpected flash mob as part of a show of solidarity with Ukraine after the Russian occupation.
“It simply came to our notice then. The organizers did a great job in giving citizens the opportunity to express their feelings – which was greatly appreciated by the participants, ”Johannes Grubel, political analyst at the European Policy Center, told EURACTIV. Grobel was in Dublin to follow the weekend talks.
“With that vibration in the room, I’m sure the situation will be reflected in the group sessions, especially on issues like cyber security and misinformation,” he added.
Grubel explained that the initiative was suggested by a civic representative who brought flags to the event and called for solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Recommendations on EU Foreign Policy
This weekend’s panel discussion covered topics already discussed at Maastricht, where participants talked about their issues. Recommendations The European Union spoke out for foreign and immigration policy.
The general term of the panel was the desire for a more united EU partnership in dealing and trading with third countries.
In accordance with international law, they recommended the creation of a “joint EU force” for self-defense purposes and for deployment outside the EU, “in exceptional circumstances, only with the appropriate legal order of the UN Security Council.”
The participants also demanded that the European Union be more resolute and strong when imposing sanctions on third countries, which should be “proportional to the action that motivates them and applied effectively and in a timely manner”.
Another requirement was that the Council of Europe vote by a simple majority on all issues except those related to EU expansion and treaty reform.
Rising energy prices are a particular concern of citizens. Participants ”A strategy [Europa] It called for greater self-sufficiency in energy production and “more serious engagement with the issue of nuclear energy” – especially to see how much role it could play in “Europe’s transition to green energy”.
The recommendations, which were voted on in Dublin on Sunday, will be evaluated and discussed at the March Plenary Session of the Conference.
[Bearbeitet von Nathalie Weatherald]
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