Conference on the Future of Europe: citizens to have their say on reforming the EU 

Parliament will kick off a bottom-up approach to shape the future of Europe together with citizens of all backgrounds and ages.

Following a debate with Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday morning, Parliament will vote at noon on a resolution setting out its vision for the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe.

MEPs want citizens’ voices to be at the core of broad discussions on how to tackle internal and external challenges that were not foreseen at the time of the Lisbon Treaty. The Conference should start in 2020 and run for two years.

The draft resolution highlights that citizens of all backgrounds, civil society representatives and stakeholders at European, national, regional and local level must be involved in setting the EU’s priorities in line with citizens’ concerns in a bottom-up, transparent, inclusive, participatory and well-balanced approach. The Conference could result in treaty review and the establishment of a permanent citizen participation mechanism.

Parliament, Council and Commission should provide high-level patronage to ensure proper commitment and follow-up on the Conference’s outcome.

Parliament’s position also reflects the most recent survey findings. In the Parlemeter on “Heeding the Call beyond the Vote” (September 2019), European citizens continued to support a more important role for the Parliament, while data from the Commission’s Standard Eurobarometer (November 2019, Table 102) show that 83% of respondents want “EU citizens’ voice to be taken into account more on decisions on the future of Europe”.

Debate/vote: Wednesday, 15 January