Ministers in Charge of European Affairs Assess Results of CoFoE's Third Plenary

Ministers in Charge of European Affairs Assess Results of CoFoE's Third Plenary

Brussels/Bratislava, June 25 (TASR-correspondent) – EU ministers in charge of European affairs are assessing in Brussels results of the third plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE).

A TASR correspondent in Brussels also reported that participants in the plenary on Friday and Saturday (January 21 and 22) dealt with the recommendations from the first two citizens’ panels and some national citizens’ panel discussions.

The plenary in Strasbourg evaluated 90 recommendations of citizens from all EU member states in the area of European democracy, values and rights, rules of law and security, climate change, environment and health.

Belgian MEP and former Belgian premier Guy Verhofstadt, who is representing the European Parliament at the CoFoE, stated that citizens reckon with concrete measures that cover all areas of their ideas. “In a final consequence, all citizens’ recommendations will need to be addressed,” said Verhofstadt.

Following the conclusion of two out of the four citizens’ panels, Europeans’ proposals can be summarised in several points, said Verhofstadt. “These are the EU Constitution and Europe-wide referendums, revision of the rule of unanimity of voting in the EU Council, change in the names and styles of work of EU institutions, freedom of media, civic observers in the EU decision-making process, harmonisation of the date and terms of EP elections and creation of a real Europe of citizens,” he said.

French State Secretary for European Affairs Clement Beaune stated that the CoFoE plenary must address citizens’ recommendations. “We are pleased that citizens’ discussions and contributions enrich the European Union’s priorities for future generations,” said Beaune.

The CoFoE exceeded expectations of European Commission Vice-president for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Suica. “I was impressed by the high quality of the recommendations adopted in the Europe-wide, as well as national panel discussions of citizens that have already been concluded,” she said. According to Suica, citizens need to see the impact of concrete results of the conference. “Our democracy deserves such a live and constructive debate,” added the Croatian EU commissioner.

The next two Europe-wide panel discussions of citizens, which haven’t yet submitted their recommendations, will complete their work in February. Participants in the panel called “EU in the World and Migration” will hold their last meeting between February 11-13 in Maastricht. The meeting within the panel called “Stronger Economy, Social Justice, Jobs and Education, Youth, Culture, Sport and Digital Transformation” is scheduled for February 25-27 in Dublin. Their recommendations will be discussed at the CoFoE’s next plenary.