The Council of the European Union has given the green light for the signing of the joint declaration concerning the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The declaration lays down the goals, structure, scope and schedule of the Conference, whose purpose is to involve citizens in a broad debate on the future of Europe.
The aim of the Conference is to analyse the challenges facing the EU, including those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, though it should also reflect the European Union’s Strategic Agenda (the EU policies accorded priority for the period 2019-2024). The range of topics to be addressed also encompasses climate change policy, economic and social issues, and the digital transformation. Nevertheless, all citizens are free to raise questions that they wish to be debated.
The Conference on the Future of Europe will function under the aegis of three European institutions: the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. In this respect, the trio will act as a joint presidency, to which the principles of equal participation and consensus decision-making will apply. The parliament of each Member State will also be involved, in addition to the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, among other institutions. It is set out that every six months a plenary session of the Conference will meet with representatives of the three institutions and the national parliaments, as well as citizens and other interested parties.
Next Wednesday, 10 March, the joint declaration concerning the Conference on the Future of Europe will be signed in Strasbourg by the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, the current President of the Council of the European Union, António Costa, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
On that date, the Conference will start its duties, with the first formal meeting planned for 9 May, Europe Day. This should result in guidelines indicating the future of Europe until the spring of the coming year, 2022.