Brussels, December 10 (TASR-correspondent) – Due to its diversity, the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) may not bring specific results, ex-prime minister of Ireland (1994-1997) and former EU ambassador to the United States (2004-2009) John Bruton stated.
Bruton was approached regarding the CoFoE by former Slovak prime minister Mikulas Dzurinda, who’s now the chairman of the Wilfried Martens Centre – a Brussels-based think-tank of the European People’s Party (EPP).
The former premier, diplomat, multiple minister and leader of the right-liberal party Fine Gael said that the attempt to imagine the future of Europe in the longer term of 20 to 30 years is very ambitious.
According to him, the conference as such will be a “useful exercise” in the field of public education. However, he thinks that it is unlikely that the conference, given its diversity, would result in something specific.
“It’s important to develop a sense of European patriotism or patriotism towards the EU and loyalty to the ideals that underpin the European Union’s idea. Democratic participation of citizens is the best way to build such loyalty. I hope the conference can do that,” said Bruton.
The former Irish premier admitted that he also has some doubts about the development of the current conference, based on his experience with the Convention on the Future of Europe (2001-2003).