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 Full text 
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Conference on the Future of Europe (debate)

  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, I would agree with all of you that we have been involved in debating the Conference on the Future of Europe for so long that I believe the time has come to make it happen. We are Members of the European Parliament, whose obligation, actually, is political courage and political bravery, and we have been elected by citizens. But we are also citizens of the European Union and we can see, as citizens in our daily life across Europe, citizens’ attachment to a Europe that cares about her own citizens and a Europe that is open to the world. The pandemic has also shown disparities between what we as citizens expect from Europe and what it can do for us today. There are empty spaces in Europe’s capacity to act which can be captured again by anti-European populists. That is why this conference and the direct engagement of citizens is so important. The conference is potentially a ground-breaking opportunity to achieve a more democratic and legitimate union, but it can also help us make Europe more effective.

Let me finish by saying that it would be a shame if this conference did not open up the path towards making our Treaties future—proof, adjusting the Treaties to citizens’ expectations, with a view to boosting their chances in an entirely changed global world. As citizens said to me, ‘the boat of history has just arrived on our shores and we cannot miss it’. I wanted to share this with you.

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