Conference on the Future of Europe and citizens’ participation: what’s new?

14 December

CoFoE updates, powered by Wolfgang Petzold


Conference on the Future of Europe: first votes of a European Citizens’ Panel

Between 10 and 12 December, the European Citizens’ Panel 2 of the Conference on the Future of Europe debating on “European democracy”; values, rights, rule of law and security” had its third and final meeting at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. Panel no 1, planned to be held in Dublin between 3 and 5 December, had to be postponed because of the pandemic situation, and therefore, this was the first European Citizens’ Panel voting on its recommendations to the Conference Plenary. On the five topics (“streams”), on-site and online votes were cast from 200 citizens on 42 recommendations drafted. Of these, a total of 39 received the necessary 70% or more of the votes, among which the recommendation to establish a permanent citizens’ assembly at EU level based on an EU Regulation governing it. The 20 citizens’ ambassadors from this panel will meet with the related Working Group of the Conference Plenary on 17 December and will also present their 39 recommendations to the Plenary in January.  Link to reports (to come), the recordings and a five-minutes summary including a statement by Guy Verhofstadt.

 

Conference on the Future of Europe: European Citizens’ Panels and EU democracy

On 16 December, 10:30-11:30 (CET), the “Conference Observatory”, a consortium of think tanks and foundations, will hold its next online event of the future of European Citizens’ Panels and EU democracy. Link

 

 On 7 December, the report of the virtual session of the European Citizens’ Panel on “climate change environment; health” held between 19 and 21 November was published on the digital platform of the Conference on. the Future of EuropeLink (available in all official EU languages).

 

On 8 and 9 December, US president Biden held a virtual “Summit for Democracy” for 100 leaders of governments, civil society organisations, and the private sector. Link.

 

On 9 December, the third interim report on the digital platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe was published. It analyses the contributions made to the platform between 19 April and 3 November 2021 on the nine topics of the Conference as well as data on the users of the platform. Among the 9 300+ ideas posted on the platform, the ideas on “creating a citizens-based European democracy” and a “democratic European federation” received most endorsements (around 500 each). Link.

 

Between 10 and 12 December, an online debate on “living together in cross-border regions” between 100 citizens from six regions in four countries in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held. Citizens came from Baden-Württemberg and Saxony (Germany), Grand-Est (France), Dolnoslaskie (Poland), Karlovasy Kraj und Ústecký Kraj (Czechia), and the event was supported by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the CoR. Link.

 

On 11 and 12 December, a national citizens’ assembly on climate was launched in Spain.  During five sessions, citizens will develop recommendations to be adopted on 23 and 24 April 2022. So far, national citizens’ assemblies on climate were held in Ireland (2017), France (2019/20), the UK (2020), Scotland, Germany and Finland (2021), as well as in many regions and cities. More resources are available from the “Knowledge Network on Climate Assemblies” (KNOCA), an initiative of the European Climate Foundation. Link (in Spanish).

 

On 13 December, 14:00-15:00 (GMT), the European Commission Representation in Ireland, in co-operation with European Movement Ireland, hosted an online event on the Conference on the Future of Europe. Speakers included Thomas Byrne TD, Minister of State for European Affairs, Noelle O Connell, Ireland’s National Citizen Representative on Conference on the Future of Europe, and Emily O Reilly, European Ombudsman. Link.

 

Between 7 and 9 January 2022, the European Citizens’ Panel 3 of the Conference on the Future of Europe debating on “climate change, environment” and “health” will have its third meeting in Natolin (Warsaw) in the College of Europe. Link.

 

On 8 January, the German Foreign ministry will hold a national citizens’ panel in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe. A total of 100 randomly selected citizens will be invited to attend four online discussions followed by a two-day conference at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin 15 and 16 January 2022. Link (in German).

 

Between 14 and 16 January, the European Citizens’ Panel 4 of the Conference on the Future of Europe debating on “the EU in the world” and “migration” will have its third meeting in Maastricht in the European Institute for Public Administration. Link.

 

On 20 January, a call of the EU’s research programme “Horizon Europe” will open on “Innovative Research on Democracy and Governance”. Up to three research projects can expect support in the order of EUR 2-3 million, to focus on “how to open up traditional institutions of representative democracy and increase trust in democratic governance through “direct participatory processes as well as clear and transparent feedback mechanisms to citizens”. More information can be found here.

 

On 21 and 22 January, the fourth meeting of the plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe will be held in the EP in Strasbourg. Link.

 

Between 4 and 6 February, the European Citizens’ Panel on the Conference on the Future of Europe debating on a “stronger economy, social justice, jobs”, education, youth, culture, sport”, and “digital transformation” will hold its third and final meeting. Initially planned to be held from 3-5 December 2021, the meeting had to be postponed because of the epidemiological situation. Link.

 

On 18 and 19 February, the fifth meeting of the plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe will be held in the EP in Strasbourg. Link.

 

On 3 and 4 March, the CoR and the Région Sud (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) will hold the 9th European Summit of Regions and Cities in Marseille under the headline “Citizens at the heart of Europe”. Link.

 

On 11 and 12 March, the sixth and final meeting of the plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe will be held in the EP in Strasbourg (tbc). Link.