The EPP Group in the European Parliament wants the so-called ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ to be a “listening exercise”, which, after two years, leads to “concrete proposals, what we want to change in the EU”.
“First, we have to listen! We cannot shape the future of Europe without listening to the citizens. The planned Conference must first of all be a listening exercise. We want a broad, open, interactive and inclusive debate all across our continent about what kind of European Union we want in the future“, said Paulo Rangel MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chairman in charge of preparing the Conference.
The European Parliament wants to organise six so-called ‘Agora’ across Europe. “These will be the fora, where ordinary citizens from all 27 Member States can come up with ideas”, explained Rangel. Agora was the name of the central public space in ancient Greece. “NGOs, think-tanks, associations and companies should use other channels”, he added.
The Conference on the Future of Europe should have two pillars. “There will be the Agoras and a more institutional pillar, where parliaments and institutions come up with their ideas”, Rangel continued to explain.
“Topics that should be debated are European values, fundamental rights, European integration, environmental challenges and climate change, social justice and equality, economic issues, digital transformation, security, defence and Europe’s role in the world. But we should not anticipate the result of the debate now. It should be an open debate”, Rangel insisted.
At the end of a two-year process, the Conference on the Future of Europe should produce “concrete and workable proposals, what we want to change in the EU. We must turn ideas into action”, Rangel said.