After the successful launch of the multilingual digital platform, the Executive Board continues to fine-tune arrangements prior to the inaugural hybrid event on 9 May.
At their third meeting on Thursday (22 April), the Executive Board endorsed the event’s draft programme, which will take place on Europe Day. It will be broadcast live, and will feature remote citizen participation and interventions by the Presidents of the three EU institutions.
The representatives of the European Parliament, Council and Commission also endorsed the Conference’s Rules of Procedure regarding the European citizens' panels, and in relation to the Principles and the Scope of the Conference. Each panel will comprise 200 citizens and will ensure that at least one female and one male citizen per Member State is included. Citizens will be chosen randomly to set up panels that are representative of the EU’s diversity, in terms of geographic origin, gender, age, socioeconomic background and level of education. Young people between 16 and 25 will make up one-third of each panel.
They also held an exchange of views on the rules of the Conference Plenary, aiming to reach an agreement at their next meeting.
The Portuguese Secretary of State for EU Affairs, and Co-Chair from the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Ana Paula Zacarias, said: “The level of participation in the Conference’s digital platform over the last days had been truly impressive. Citizens are answering our call for participation and it’s time to move a step further and set the Conference in motion."
Parliament’s Co-Chair of the Executive Board, Guy Verhofstadt, said: “We are preparing the ground to get as much interaction as possible between the two starting tracks of the Conference - the platform and the citizens’ panels. The next step is to set up the Plenary to reflect Europe’s diversity of opinion and take up the ideas and suggestions from citizens, on which the success of the Conference depends.”
Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, and Co-Chair, Dubravka Šuica, said: “This Conference is all about engaging and empowering citizens. We keep them at the forefront of all our thinking on the Conference. Whether they are pro-Europe or sceptical, we want to hear from them, so we can respond to their concerns.”