Csefalvayova: CoFoE Has Shown That People Want More European Cooperation

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Ex-MP Katarina Csefalvayova (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 9 (TASR) – The conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) show that the EU public wants more Europe in almost all areas of European cooperation, Katarina Csefalvayova, a former MP and the current head of the Institute for Central Europe think-tank, has told TASR.

“The war in Ukraine clearly shows that we need closer cooperation in the EU, and this should be the direction of further discussions on the future of the EU,” she noted. The conference also revealed the need for Slovakia to focus its European policy not only towards Brussels and its European partners, “but also towards our own citizens, who still lack sufficient information about the EU and have many prejudices against it”.

The CoFoE also brought up the topic of updating basic treaties on the functioning of the EU. Csefalvayova warned that adjusting these treaties always carries risks, especially if any EU-member state shows less and less willingness to seek consensus.

“However, it seems that the best response to the turbulent international scene is more European cooperation, which, according to the CoFoE conclusions, is also what citizens want. Depending on the extent to which this desire for closer cooperation translates into realistic plans and their ambitions, the updating of the treaties would also be in order,” she noted.

Csefalvayova opined that the conference alone won’t bring reform. “But it certainly represents a useful probe into the minds of Europeans and gives room for follow-up discussions at the political level. I consider it to be a useful initiative that has shown the public that the EU leadership is interested in its views and that everyone’s voice is equally important,” she told TASR.

According to her, the fact that EU citizens want more Europe is a much-needed response to the nationalist, anti-European and Eurosceptic voices that have been heard in almost all member states in recent years. “For this reason alone, I would call the CoFoE a success,” she said.