European Union Reform: Citizens’ Suggestions from the Conference on the Future of Europe

What's next for the EU?  The "Conference on the Future of Europe" is over

325 proposals to reform the European Union. This is the result of a conference on the future of Europe, a broader civic reflection that began a year ago, ending this Saturday with the approval of proposals in the last plenary session of the European Parliament.

Hundreds of participants from 27 member countries were distributed to work on 10 themes: climate change and the environment; Health; Strong economy, social justice and employment; EU in the world; Values ​​and rights, rule of law and security; Digital transformation; European democracy; Immigration; Education, youth, and sports; Other ideas.

Suggestions from over 50,000 participants have been submitted on the online platform, available in 24 languages ​​(www.futureu.europa.eu) and will still be open until May 9th.

I was in a working group on economics, social justice and employment. I struggled to bring a young perspective on these very important issues of housing and getting a first job for a student.“Cockpar’s parole, a partner from Poland, explains.

For these civic representatives, the conference on the future of Europe opens a new chapter in European democracy. “We have given important suggestions on education, mutual recognition of diplomas and the quality of education. I think it can have a huge impact, I think democracy in Europe will change after this, we will no longer have representative democracy, we need to include citizens“, Says Iofe O’Leary, a partner from Ireland.

One of the leaders of the conference, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstad, said the European Union needed to reform its decision-making process. “One of the main proposals is to end the veto rights in the European Union. So we are working very, very late with the European Union to end the unanimous voting and decision-making process.“, MEP believes.

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Many of the proposals would require changes in European agreements, which some member states oppose. As the Commission’s Vice President Dubrovka Suyika said, the European Commission assures that the recommendations will be taken very seriously: “I am sure the institutions are serious enough and the citizens will take us into account if we do nothing. So I’m sure we will follow through. We will do our best to take into account the ideas, expectations and concerns of the citizens. “

Exactly one year after the launch in Strasbourg, the exercise will officially end in the European Parliament on May 9, Europe Day. The final report, which is expected to change slightly from the recommendations approved on Saturday, will be handed over to the presidents of the three European institutions and to French President Emmanuel Macron. It will take months to see if these suggestions work.

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