The Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe, comprising representatives from the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, has launched the multilingual digital platform for the Conference on the Future of Europe on 18 April, inviting all EU citizens to contribute to shaping their own future and that of Europe as a whole. The platform is available in 24 languages, allowing citizens from across the Union to share and exchange their ideas and views through online events.
The Joint Presidency of the Conference welcomed the launch of the platform.
European Parliament President, David Sassoli, said: “The platform represents a key tool to allow citizens to participate and have a say on the Future of Europe. We must be certain that their voices will be heard and that they have a role in the decision-making, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic. European democracy, of the representative and participatory kind, will continue to function no matter what, because our shared future demands it.”
Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa, on behalf of the Presidency of the Council, said: “The time has come for our citizens to actively share their greatest concerns and their ideas. This discussion couldn't happen at a more relevant time. We have to prepare now, so that we come out of this crisis even stronger and when we overcome the pandemic we stand ready for the future. We hope to continue to build the Europe of the future together, a fairer, greener and more digital Europe that responds to our citizens' expectations.”
European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Health, climate change, good and sustainable jobs in a more and more digital economy, the state of our democratic societies: We are inviting Europeans to speak up, to address their concerns and tell us what Europe they want to live in. With this citizens' platform, we are giving everyone the opportunity to contribute to shaping the future of Europe and engage with other people from across Europe. This is a great opportunity to bring Europeans together virtually. Join the debate! Together, we can build the future we want for our Union.”
The Conference on the Future of Europe is an unprecedented, open and inclusive exercise in deliberative democracy. It seeks to give people from all walks of life, across Europe, a greater say on what they expect from the European Union, which should then help guide the EU's future direction and policymaking. The Joint Presidency has committed to follow up on the outcome of the Conference.
The Conference on the Future of Europe represents a pivotal point for the European Union with its Member States and all European citizens. Although the process has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and is going to be mostly carried out through the new online platform, it gives all European stakeholders the opportunity to shape the future of the Union according to their values and interests. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) believes that the Conference will bring the Union closer together by further involving European citizens in European-level decision-making. Our Working Groups touch upon every issue that is to be discussed at the Conference on the Future of Europe and we are more than ready to work with our partners to make their voices heard by the European Union and shape our future together.
The multilingual digital platform is fully interactive and multilingual: people can engage with one another and discuss their proposals with fellow citizens from all Member States, in the EU's 24 official languages. People from all walks of life and in numbers as large as possible are encouraged to contribute via the platform in shaping their future, but also to promote it on social media channels, with the hashtag #TheFutureIsYours
The platform will ensure full transparency – a key principle of the Conference – as all submissions and event outcomes will be collected, analysed, monitored, and made publicly available. The key ideas and recommendations from the platform will be used as input for the European citizens' panels and the Plenaries, where they will be debated to produce the Conference's conclusions.
All Conference-related events that will be registered on the platform will be visualised on an interactive map, enabling citizens to browse and sign up online. Organisers can use the toolkit available on the platform to help organise and promote their initiatives. All participants and events must respect the Charter of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which lays down standards for a respectful pan-European debate.
The platform is organised around key topics: climate change and the environment; health; a stronger and fairer economy; social justice and jobs; EU in the world; values and rights, rule of law, security; digital transformation; European democracy; migration; and education, culture, youth and sport. These topics are complemented by an ‘open box' for cross-cutting and other topics (‘other ideas'), as citizens remain free to raise any issue that matters to them, in a truly bottom-up approach.
The platform also provides information on the Conference's structure and work. It is open to all EU citizens, as well as EU institutions and bodies, national Parliaments, national and local authorities and civil society. It will fully respect users' privacy, and EU data protection rules.
Source: European Commission Press Corner