Bratislava/Brussels, May 23 (TASR) – The conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) showed the need for changes to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, Slovak MEP Vladimir Bilcik (Together) has told TASR in an interview.
According to Bilcik, the European Parliament has already tasked the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) with preparing a draft reform of the treaty.
“There’s a strong call for us to launch another convention on the future of Europe that might be the first step towards changing the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU,” said Bilcik, adding that such a convention was last held 20 years ago. “However, the reality in which the EU operates has changed significantly since then, and so there’s a need to adapt the basic rules of its functioning accordingly,” he said.
Citizens of EU countries had an opportunity to comment on the Union’s functioning and propose changes as of last May. The CoFoE Plenary eventually adopted 49 proposals covering more than 300 measures in nine broad thematic areas. The European Parliament, governments of member states and the European Commission are currently dealing with the proposals.
“EU institutions will now examine the proposals, and an event will be held in the autumn to inform the public about how the institutions will meet their commitments,” said the Slovak MEP, adding that an actual importance of the conference will be shown right there. Some citizens’ proposals are already being implemented by the EU, but many are a long-distance race, he noted.
As one of the conference’s shortcomings the Slovak MEP mentioned low public awareness of the CoFoE in several member countries, including Slovakia. This was partly caused by the fact that the public space was first dominated by the debate on the coronavirus pandemic and later Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.