April 19, citizens from all over Europe have had the opportunity to digitally
express their opinions on issues deemed important for the future of the EU
through the “Future of Europe” multilingual digital platform (see News 04/2021).
the parliament’s summer recess, the opinion-forming process of the four
European citizens' forums, each consisting of 200 citizens, can now start work.
The place that will host the hybrid meetings will initially be the European
Parliament in Strasbourg, as it is the voice of the people's representatives.
The first European citizens' forum will address the issues of a stronger
economy, social justice, employment/education, youth, culture and sport as well
as the digital transition.
Who gets a say?
participants in the citizens' forums were randomly selected based on age,
gender, profession, education and their member state. The intention was to
express the diversity of the EU. One third are also young voters between the
ages of 16 and 25.
Main topics in the forums
citizens' forums will take into account the citizens' contributions received
from the digital “Conference on the Future” platform.
breakdown was as follows:
- values and rights, rule
of law, security
- climate change and
- a stronger economy,
social justice and employment/education, culture, youth and sport/digital
- the EU’s place in the
The work order
citizens' forums are to develop draft recommendations that fall within the
remit of the relevant
working groups from the plenary session. They will then be pooled and
presented to the conference's plenary session for recommendations about
follow-up action by the EU. 20 citizens from each of the citizens' forums will
participate in the plenary session to provide an opportunity for discussion.
They will be chosen and posted directly in the forums.
be exciting to see the actual recommendations from the health and social
justice sectors that we continue to follow. However, the effect of
recommendations at European level is often not target-oriented and they will
not require implementation. This fact could then also apply to the EU
institutions. After all, it would be a matter of interpretation how seriously
the results are taken for a real reform of the EU.
plenary session will be held in October and the process should be completed by
the end of the year. You can find the provisional meetings schedule here. Everything about the platform for the
conference on the future of Europe can be found here.