Conference on the Future of Europe: what is it?
Last updated on Monday, 07/06/2021
The Conference on the Future of Europe brings together citizens to debate on Europe’s challenges and future priorities.
You may have been listening or reading for a while that the Conference on the Future of Europe was taking place but, do you know what exactly it is and how you can play your role in it?
The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) takes the format of a citizen-led series of debates and discussions that will enable people from across Europe to share their ideas and help shape our common future.
Any topics of concern are welcome to be discussed in a free and respectful manner, in line with EU values. Some of the topics are climate change and environment, health, EU foreign affairs, digital transformation, migration, education, culture… yet there are many more issues you can raise if you consider them important to you and the EU’s future!
The Conference is the first of its kind: as a major pan-European democratic exercise, it offers a new public forum for an open, inclusive, and transparent debate with citizens around a number of key priorities and challenges.
EU institutions are also working hand in hand, and to establish the value of their unity, the Conference’s Joint Presidency is composed of the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Council and the President of the European Commission.
Launched on Europe Day, 9 May 2021, it will be running until Spring 2022 when the Conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance on the future of Europe.
How will it take place?
The following elements will be the backbone of discussions:
- Multilingual digital platform – will be the place for citizens to share ideas and online submissions, which will be collected, analysed, and published throughout the Conference to feed discussions;
- Decentralised events – online, in-person and hybrid events held by people and organisations as well as national, regional and local authorities across Europe;
- European Citizens’ Panels – will discuss different topics and put forward their proposals; they will be representative in terms of geographic origin, gender, age, socioeconomic background and/or level of education;
- Conference Plenaries - will ensure that the recommendations from the national and European citizens’ panels, grouped by themes, are debated without a predetermined outcome and without limiting the scope to predefined policy areas.
Thus, the multilingual digital platform is your best ally to speak up and engage with the public dialogue shaping the Conference.
Who can take part?
Everyone, especially young European voices are encouraged to participate and drive the way forward.
Along with citizens, European, national, regional and local authorities, as well as civil society and other organisations who want to organise events and contribute ideas are welcomed to play an active role.
What will come next?
The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission have committed to listen to Europeans and to follow up within their sphere of competences on the recommendations made.
Besides, a feedback mechanism will ensure that the ideas expressed during the Conference events result in concrete recommendations for EU action.
Make the best use of the multilingual digital platform to make sure that you engage with the debate and speak up for your concerns at the Conference of the Future of Europe.