Kicking-off with "The future is in your hands” citizens' digital platform.

IF – 04/2021

The start of the Conference on the future of Europe has been seriously delayed by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Preparations for the launch of the conference by the institutions finally moved forward during the first weeks of April. A "COVID-19 compliant" agreement was reached on a digital platform that will enable EU citizens to contribute to the conference. The aim of the conference is to create a more participatory, open and transparent Europe.

What's behind all of this?

In order to speed up the planning for the opening event on May 9, Europe Day, the actors from the European institutions want to provide serious attempts and opportunities for greater citizen participation. Using the announced platform should give the conference more credibility with regard to European will for reform.

What better way than to create a digital space where people can express their views about the EU in their own way. Since April 19, citizens from all over Europe have had the opportunity to digitally register their opinions on issues deemed important for the future of the EU through this new multilingual digital platform.

Participation is required

Information about how the conference will work and its structuring as well as the resources for organising the events are provided, including a list of the key events. This means that various initiatives can be promoted and supported at local, regional, national and European levels.

The platform is intended to be a central hub for the conference, for the first time at European level. The posted contributions will be merged and thematically classified, including events, the European Citizens' Forums and the planned plenary sessions of the conference in autumn 2021.

Quiet doubts about the schedule

In discussions of the European Representation with MEPs of various parliamentary groups, the joy about the positive announcement about the start of the preparations prevailed, but the abstractness of the conference and what exactly it is supposed to result in leaves some question marks even among European politicians. There were also cautious doubts about the targeted May 9 launch date.

Whether there could be major discussions on European health and social policy is not certain. Transparency, legislative processes and fundamental debates about the general direction and positioning of the EU are to be expected.

The link to the citizen participation platform can be found here and more information about the conference on the future of Europe can be found here.