Benova on CoFoE: Green Transformation Was Focus of Citizens Panels

Benova on CoFoE: Green Transformation Was Focus of Citizens Panels

Brussels, March 5 (TASR) – The recommendations of citizens panels held as a part of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) are focused on issues concerning the green transformation, but this should go hand in hand with protecting the existing rights of workers and jobs, Slovak MEP Monika Benova (Smer-SD) has told TASR.

“Concerning other issues, the CoFoE has focused significantly, for example, on the area of health. Thanks to positive experience with a coordinated solution to the pandemic that has helped to save many lives, the vast majority of EU citizens expect the Union to play a more important role in protecting their health in the future,” said Benova.

At the same time, the MEP praised the fact that “Slovak citizens actively participated in the ongoing discussions as well”. According to available information, they called in particular “for the EU to engage more in social matters and for regional disparities to be removed more quickly. This includes issues related to increasing living standards”.

Benova was less positive about the approach of the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MFA) and the Slovak Government as a whole. She thinks they could have been much more active in framing Slovakia’s national priorities, for example.

Head of MFA’s European Affairs Section Tomas Kozak explained in January that Slovakia has taken a neutral approach to the conference and observed the “principle of openness”. According to him, the Slovak Government has taken care not to suggest any topic to its citizens and to let them come up with their own ones instead.