Brussels, December 1 (TASR) – The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is a series of consultations across the continent between May 2021 and the spring of 2022 that is aimed at collecting ideas for EU reform from European citizens.
Anyone can register and express their opinion and comment on the functioning of the EU on futureu.europa.eu, the official website co-sponsored by the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission.
Comments can be made on categories including climate change, health, the economy, the rule of law, digital transformation, European democracy, migration and education. However, there is also an ‘other ideas’ section in which people can comment on matters that aren’t related to any of the aforementioned topics.
Registered users can access other people’s ideas and comments and then add comments of their own and discuss them further.
Users also have the option of organising their own events within the conference, which can be purely virtual. More than 300 events worldwide are currently registered on the CoFoE website.
No events have been registered in Slovakia yet, but dozens are set to take place in neighbouring countries by the spring of 2022. The Visegrad Four (V4) countries will see events dedicated to topics such as sustainable fashion, the climate crisis, light pollution, civil society and migration.
Four citizens’ panels have taken place at the EP in Strasbourg as part of the conference, with each one attended by approximately 200 randomly selected EU citizens who had the opportunity to discuss the selected topics in person and then draw up specific recommendations on the future direction of Europe.
The first panel focused on improving the economy, social justice, employment and education, youth, culture, sport and digital transformation. The second one dealt with democracy in Europe, values and rights, the rule of law and security. The third panel was dedicated to climate change, environmental issues and new health-related challenges for the EU. As for the final panel, it tackled migration and the EU’s role in the world.
Each of the four panels will sit two more times by the spring of 2022. The recommendations of these meetings will be included in a final report to be prepared by the executive board of the conference in the spring. European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen stressed this week that the EC will be guided by the conference’s conclusions.
The participants in the citizens’ panels come from all 27 EU-member states, reflecting the demographic and social diversity of the EU. At least one third of the participants in each panel are aged under 25.