(Source: European Commission)
On Europe Day, the Presidents of the European Parliament, Commission and Council received the final report with proposals to reform the EU.
In a closing ceremony today in Strasbourg, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola, on behalf of the Council Presidency, President Emmanuel Macron, and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen received from the Co-Chairs of the Conference Executive Board the final report on the outcome of the Conference.
This unprecedented, one-year journey of discussion, debate and collaboration between citizens and politicians culminated in a report centred around 49 proposals that include concrete objectives and more than 320 measures for the EU institutions to follow up on under nine topics: climate change and the environment; health; a stronger economy, social justice and jobs; EU in the world; values and rights, rule of law, security, digital transformation, European democracy, migration, education, culture, youth and sport. The proposals are based on recommendations made by citizens who met within the European Citizens’ Panels, National Citizens’ Panels and contributed their ideas on the Multilingual Digital Platform.
President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said: “Citizens – especially young people – are at the heart of our vision for the future of Europe. They have directly shaped the outcome of the Conference. We are at a defining moment of European integration and no suggestion for change should be off-limits. We should not be afraid to unleash the power of Europe to change people’s lives for the better.”
President Emmanuel Macron commented: “Through the crises that we have gone through collectively in recent years, Europe has changed. We must continue this development and ensure that the Union lives up to the aspirations and expectations expressed by the citizens. The Conference on the Future of Europe, which we are closing today, is a unique exercise and unprecedented in its scope, a breath of fresh air for our continent. Its conclusions constitute a very rich source of proposals, which each institution must examine within the framework of its competences. The Council will have the opportunity to express itself in the coming weeks. As this exercise is coming to an end under the French Presidency, I thank the previous presidencies for their commitment and am happy to hand over the follow-up to be given to the conclusions of the Conference to the Czech and Swedish presidencies.”
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Democracy, peace, individual and economic freedom. This is what Europe stands for today when the war rages again on our continent. This is at the heart of the Conference on the future of Europe. The European Union has to continue to deliver on European citizens’ expectations. Today, their message has been received loud and clear. And now, it is time to deliver.”
Over the last year, through a multitude of events and discussions organised across the EU, national and European citizens’ panels, plenary meetings as well as exchanges on the dedicated Multilingual Digital Platform, the Conference became a truly open forum to discuss the Europe we want to live in. It enabled a transparent, inclusive and structured debate with European citizens about the issues that are of relevance to them and for their future.
The three institutions will now examine how to follow up effectively on these proposals, each within their own spheres of competence and in accordance with the Treaties.
A feedback event will take place to update citizens in autumn 2022.
The Conference on the Future of Europe has been a novel and innovative process, a bottom-up exercise for Europeans to have their say on what they expect from the European Union. European citizens of different geographic origin, gender, age, socioeconomic background and/or level of education participated in the Conference, with young Europeans playing a central role.