CoFoE: Not Only Past, But also Future of EU is Based on Regions, Claims SK8

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Bratislava, January 4 (TASR) – The coronavirus pandemic and Brexit are key milestones that have underlined the need to redefine the direction and priorities of the European Union, chairman of the SK8 Self-governing Regions Association and Trnava Regional Governor Jozef Viskupic has stated in connection with the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE).

“We believe that, like with the formation of the Union, the regions will once again play a key role here,” said Viskupic, who declared that self-governing regions are ready to contribute towards consolidating peace and democracy, the basic preconditions for prosperity.

According to the SK8 chairman, the CoFoE creates space for a matter-of-fact dialogue. He positively evaluates the participatory nature of activities and events. It reflects the willingness of the European Union to listen to the needs of all its citizens in order to strengthen cohesion, solidarity and social justice. SK8 views the conference as a unique opportunity to collect, analyse and use suggestions from Europeans, regardless of their age, profession or country.

SK8 supports the ambition to strengthen the role of citizens in EU decision-making processes and thus boost their confidence in European and national institutions. “A constructive dialogue with the public is a key tool for adopting changes at the European level that will be successfully translated into practice and really improve lives in member states,” it stated.

The association shares the view of Vasco Alves Cordeiro, the first Vice-president of the European Committee of the Regions, that the dialogue with Europeans shouldn’t end this spring. “Even during the ongoing pandemic we are witnessing that cooperation at the European level works and brings real results; for example, in the joint procurement of vaccines. We believe that we can similarly face challenges concerning climate change, the digital transformation and hybrid threats,” said Viskupic.

The CoFoE is organised by the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission. The initiative gives European citizens the opportunity to comment on its future direction. A total of 800 representatives of citizens have been divided into four citizens’ panels, within which they will meet three times.