Launched on 9 May 2021, the Conference on
the Future of Europe was unique and provided an opportunity for politicians to
discuss with EU citizens how the European Union should work, develop and
improve in the future.
After a report on the results (see News
05/2022) with more than 300 recommendations was handed over to the European
Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in a
festive ceremony, it was not clear how exactly to proceed. The plethora of
citizens' wishes, which had been elaborated in citizens' forums, now had to be
taken seriously. What is certain is that all three institutions must first come
to the table, as the recommendations of the citizens can neither be ignored nor
remain without consequences.
Amendment of the treaties at the core of the European Union
At the moment, no official negotiations are
taking place between the European Council, the Commission and the Parliament.
But within a very short time, the European Parliament's Constitutional
Committee produced a report with concrete proposals for any amendments to the
First of all, the Members of the European Parliment (MEPs) had discussed in
advance with national Members of Parliment in an interparliamentary conference how exactly to
deal with the results of the citizens' dialogues. The exchange of views on
these first results of the Conference on the Future of Europe was an important
step in bringing Parliamentarians and Member States together to avoid
The report Proposals of the European Parliament for
the amendment of the Treaties was voted in the plenary session early June.
This was crucial for the follow-up of the Conference on the future of Europe.
In the negotiated report, MEPs from all parliamentary groups except the
right-wing nationalist ID parliamentary group have been involved as co-correspondents.
The demands placed are the transition to
voting by qualified majority instead of the unanimity principle, the actual
implementation of the Pillar of Social Rights, and unspecified but requested
adjustments to delegated competences in the Union's treaties. In particular, in
the areas of health, social and economic policy that are essential for social
It is striking that three German MEPs
Gabriele Bischoff (S&D), Daniel Freund (The Greens) and Helmut Scholz (The
Left) were in charge of the report. There will certainly be lengthy
negotiations between the remaining political parties and Social Democrat
Party-led Germany. The Czech Republic will take over the Council presidency
from France as of 1 July and will accordingly have to manage the issue in the
2nd half of the year.