It will happen soon: The "Conference
on the future of Europe" is to start in May after a one-year delay. The member states gave the green light to the
proposals made during the Portuguese Council Presidency on the 3rd of
start was continually postponed due to COVID-19. Chaired by the three European
Presidents - from the Council, Parliament and the Commission - the conference
is due to start in Strasbourg on "Europe Day”, the 9th of May. It aims to
give Europe a broad perspective for the next 10 to 20 years, focusing on a
number of key issues, including: the green transition, social challenges including
demographic change and the digital transformation. This also involves the
relationship of Europe's responsibility to the member states under the primacy
of the principles of better regulation, subsidiarity, adequacy and
strengthening the EU’s acquis and transparency.
COVID-19 still hovers over the conference
as an evil spirit. Therefore, multilingual online platforms in digital format
will play a key role, even if it is still hoped to hold attendance events,
subject to precautionary measures. The venues are Brussels, Strasbourg and the
meeting places of the relevant council presidencies. In addition, all member
states are free to contribute to the success with their own events.
A joint declaration by the three leading
European institutions, i.e. the Council, Parliament and the Commission, is
still needed to open the conference and there is obviously still a need for
discussion in the Parliament. The results of the conference will then be
discussed at a meeting of the European Council in 2022.