Bratislava/Brussels, March 5 (TASR) – The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is also an opportunity to increase public support for the EU but the European Parliament must give the most detailed possible reply to their proposals, MEP Vladimir Bilcik (Together) told TASR.
The MEP pointed out that the CoFoE, now in its final phase, has involved discussions with citizen delegates and randomly chosen citizens. The European Parliament is already starting to evaluate their proposals. “We must give people a detailed answer to their proposals including how we’ll apply them in political terms,” he said, adding that it remains to be seen whether the conclusions of the conference would propose opening the basic treaties.
According to Bilcik, the CoFoE is an opportunity to involve people in the activities of the European Union and so increase their support for it. He noted that the conference has been organised because of the exit of a large member state from the EU, and its aim is to preempt further similar events by means of the Euro-MPs and citizens of the EU looking again at its functioning. “We’re facing problems in the [European] Union and outside it, that need to be solved. If we don’t solve them, the EU is threatened with declining confidence among citizens and the possible departure of more countries,” he said.
The Euro-MP regrets that the member countries were not able to agree on full participation of the Western Balkan countries in the CoFoE. “If we expect a European future for these countries, we should be listening to how their citizens see the Union,” said Bilcik, who is responsible for reporting on Serbia to the European Parliament.
The CoFoE includes four citizens’ panels of 800 citizen representatives. These panels have met three times from September 2021 to February 2022. The panels are submitting their proposals to the European Parliament at plenary sessions. They will be collected in the final report that’s being prepared by the executive committee of the conference for spring 2022.