The Executive Board today approved the calendar of Plenary meetings and European Citizens’ Panels, with the series of events starting next month.
The inaugural Conference Plenary will take place on 19 June 2021, in Strasbourg, with remote and physical participation, in full compliance with the health situation, and will include presentations on the European Citizens’ Panels and on the Multilingual Digital Platform.
Prior to that, a European citizens’ event, also in the framework of the Conference, will be held on 17 June 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal, and livestreamed online. This will be composed of 27 representatives from national Citizens' Panels or national events (one per Member State), as well as the President of the European Youth Forum and a number of the citizens already selected for the European-level Citizens’ Panels. The event, also organised in hybrid format, will give participants the opportunity to discuss their expectations from the Conference with the three Co-Chairs. These participants will also attend the inaugural Plenary in Strasbourg.
The Executive Board today also took note of the final practical modalities for the four planned European Citizens’ Panels, including the topics allocated to each:
- Values, rights, rule of law, democracy, security;
- Climate change, environment/health;
- Stronger economy, social justice, jobs/education, youth, culture, sport/digital transformation; and
- EU in the world/migration.
In addition, guidance was prepared to assist Member States and others wishing to organise citizens’ panels and other events at national, regional or local level, under the umbrella of the Conference.
Parliament’s Co-Chair of the Board, MEP Guy Verhofstadt. “We need to get the process absolutely right. The legitimacy of the Conference in large part depends on that. We are working to boost the platform, organise the panels and set up the plenary to work with the output of both. I note a large amount of interest in the Conference also from national parliaments, civil society partners and citizens. Our job now is to draw all that enthusiasm and energy into the Conference itself.”
The Portuguese Secretary of State for EU Affairs, and Co-Chair from the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Ana Paula Zacarias, said: “We are pleased to organise a first Citizens’ event next month in Lisbon, before the first Conference Plenary. Citizens will always be at the core of this major European exercise and we want to give them the opportunity to truly engage and participate. Our common future is in their hands."
Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, and Co-Chair, Dubravka Šuica, said: “We are now reaching the heart of the Conference on the Future of Europe: our citizens. As the ultimate drivers of this unique process, their contributions, ideas, hopes and dreams will be essential as we shape the vision for our union. The Conference provides a much needed space for them to deliberate among themselves and with elected representatives on an equal footing.”