Bratislava, December 7 (TASR) – Politicians must listen to the citizens of the EU and respect the demands that emerge from the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), Slovak MEPs Vladimir Bilcik, Michal Simecka and Michal Wiezik concurred during a recent discussion on TASR TV.
“I perceive the CoFoE very positively. It’s good that the European Union and its leaders are asking people what changes they want to see in the EU, what kind of future they want and what is most important to them,” said Simecka. Wiezik remarked that he sees the conference as a democratic tool, claiming that the EU wants to listen to the voices of its citizens. “In my opinion, what Michal Wiezik said is true – that [the CoFoE] is an exercise of democracy,” he stated.
Simecka pointed to the fact that the EU and European integration have “for a long time only been a project of political elites”, and he believes this needs to change. According to him, the extent to which European leaders ultimately respect the demands, suggestions and ideas that emerge from the CoFoE will be crucial. He would welcome it if the Union asked its citizens for their opinions over the long term.
Wiezik opined that the CoFoE is a tool for MEPs “to keep in touch with reality”. He stated that he’s concerned that the problem of such a large discussion forum may be the subsequent search for consensus. “It will be difficult for a consistent and unambiguous response to emerge from the conference, which we [politicians] should reflect,” he said.
Bilcik recalled that Brexit was the main impetus for organising the CoFoE. “This is not a discussion that has taken place randomly. We have a lot of accumulated problems in the Union, and the main impetus for the CoFoE was Brexit – the departure of a large member state. The role of the conference is to say what needs to be improved in the EU in order to prevent a [similar] exit from occurring again,” said Bilcik.