(Source: European Parliament)
On Saturday 19 June, the inaugural Plenary meeting of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held in Strasbourg.
Today’s Plenary marks another important moment in the life of the Conference – an unprecedented, open and inclusive European democratic exercise.
Following opening statements by the Co-Chairs of the Executive Board, representatives – including citizens – discussed the purpose and expectations of the Conference, comprising the European Citizens’ Panels, the National Panels and events, and the Multilingual Digital Platform. The “Lisbon European Citizens’ Event”, organised on 17 June in Portugal, was also welcomed by the Co-Chairs.
The second part focused on more procedural matters including the calendar of the Conference Plenaries, the European Citizens’ Panels and the European Citizens’ Event.
The European Citizens’ Panels will convene in September and October to prepare their input to future plenary debates, including a set of recommendations for the Union to follow-up on, based on citizens’ contributions collected via the Platform. The Conference is committed to giving maximum space to young people and in this vein, preparations for the European Youth Event organised by the European Parliament on 8-9 October will also continue. The next Plenary session is scheduled for 22-23 October.
The Conference Plenary comprises 108 representatives from the European Parliament, 54 from the Council (two per Member State) and 3 from the European Commission, as well as 108 representatives from all national Parliaments on an equal footing, and citizens. 108 Europeans will participate to discuss ideas stemming from the Citizens’ Panels and the Multilingual Digital Platform: 80 representatives from the European Citizens’ Panels, of which at least one third will be younger than 25, and 27 from national Citizens’ Panels or Conference events (one per Member State), as well as the President of the European Youth Forum. The selection process for citizen representatives will be completed in the near future.
18 representatives from both the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, and another eight from both social partners and civil society will also take part, while the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will be invited for discussions relating to the international role of the EU. Representatives of key stakeholders may also be invited. The Conference Plenary will be gender balanced.
Citizens across Europe can already take part in the Conference through the Multilingual Digital Platform, available in all 24 official EU languages.