Conference on the Future of Europe: Plenary to discuss citizens’ contributions

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

This weekend, the Conference Plenary will discuss reports from the European Citizens’ Panels, national panels and events, the EYE and the Platform.

This Conference Plenary meeting represents two major milestones in the context of the Conference. On the one hand, the 80 representatives of the European Citizens’ Panels that have been selected from the pool of 800 that convened in Strasbourg in September and October will take their seats. On the other hand, for the first time, the Plenary will discuss citizens’ contributions stemming from the different components of the Conference as they currently stand, while deliberations, events, and online debate continue.

Second Conference Plenary meeting

When: Saturday 23 October (preparatory meetings, working groups and political caucus meetings on Friday);

Where: European Parliament in Strasbourg, with physical and remote participation;

On Friday, the Plenary working groups, composed of representatives from all components of the Conference Plenary (incl. MEPs, national parliamentarians, government representatives, the Commission, social partners, civil society, and citizens) will meet for a constitutive meeting. On Saturday, the Plenary meeting will be opened by the Co-Chairs of the Conference’s Executive Board, Guy Verhofstadt (European Parliament), State Secretary Gašper Dovžan on behalf of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU and European Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica. The discussions will revolve around:

  • a presentation with first impressions from the European Citizens’ Panels by representatives from each Panel and by the Co-Chairs;
  • a report by the representatives from national panels and events;
  • a report from the European Youth Event; and
  • a presentation by the Co-Chairs of the interim reports and state of play on the Multilingual Digital Platform.

You can find more information on the Plenary’s composition, purpose and work, and download all relevant documents for the coming weekend, on the Conference Plenary webpage.

First sessions of the European Citizens’ Panels

The first sessions of the four European Citizens’ Panels took place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in September and October 2021. In each Panel, around 200 citizens from across the Member States (a third of them younger than 25) debated topics within their respective remit.

The reports from the first sessions of the Panels and the lists of streams and subtopics the citizens selected for their further discussions are available on the Multilingual Digital Platform:

Panel 1 A stronger economy, social justice, jobs / education, youth, culture, sport / digital transformation;

Panel 2 European democracy / values and rights, rule of law, security;

Panel 3 Climate change, environment/health; and

Panel 4 EU in the world / migration.

The European Citizens’ Panels are a central feature of the Conference organised by the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission. They are an unprecedented transnational and multilingual exercise in deliberative democracy, one that offers European citizens a central role in shaping the future of the EU. The Panels’ deliberations will take on board the contributions from the Multilingual Digital Platform and the recommendations stemming from national citizens’ Panels and events organised across Member States.

Contributions from the European Youth Event

The European Youth Event (EYE2021) took place on 8-9 October, with 5,000 young people at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and another 5,000 online, to discuss more than 2,000 ideas for shaping the future of Europe. Young panellists from the European Citizens’ Panels were invited to participate. The most popular 20 ideas from EYE2021 will be presented by two young participants at the next Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Find out more.

What citizens are debating on the Multilingual Digital Platform

On 15 October, the second report on the Multilingual Digital Platform was published. It provides an overview of citizens’ contributions from the launch of the platform on 19 April 2021 until 7 September 2021. With more than three million visitors, 30,000 active participants, 8,000 ideas debated, and almost 3,000 events registered, the platform is at the heart of the transnational democratic debate of the Conference. European democracy, and climate change and the environment, are currently the most popular topics of discussion among the participants. Citizens from all EU countries have also put forward a multitude of ideas on other subjects.

The second platform report complements the information available in the first one. It confirms that the focus remains on climate change and the environment, while also presenting new ideas relating to biodiversity, increased gender equality, improved working conditions, and a strengthened role for the EU in the world.

The third interim report is due for December and will feed into the last sessions of European Citizens’ Panels and the upcoming meetings of the Conference Plenary. Itwill cover contributions until the last week of October. A final report will be prepared early next year.

A supplementary report on contributions on the platform per Member State has also been made available on the platform.

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