Participants of the third EU citizens’ panel shared ideas on fighting climate change and improving the environment and healthcare when they met on 1-3 October.
For the third weekend in a row, the Conference on the Future of Europe welcomed 200 people from across the EU to Strasbourg for a series of debates that will help set the direction of EU policy for years to come.
Participants stressed the urgent need to stop global warming, prepare for the consequences of climate change and limit damage to the environment.
“I think this is the most important topic, because climate change will affect us all in the future, especially our generation. We should fight this problem and this is only possible if we work together as Europe,” said Lars, from Germany.
Healthy planet, healthy people
Many panel participants expressed concern about recent natural disasters in Europe and the intensification of such episodes, which they linked to climate change.
The EU should educate people about adopting a more sustainable way of living and continue to foster environmentally friendly means of transport and sustainable energy, panellists said.
The link between a healthy environment and the health of people was highlighted. Fostering sustainable agriculture and promoting quality food for all should be on the agenda, according to panel members, who also called for equal access to health care for all Europeans.
“I think that health should be an EU responsibility, because there are still major inequalities among its countries,” said Venla, from Finland.
Sex education and sexual and reproductive health were also high on the agenda.
“I hope that being here will mean something to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” said Karsten, from Denmark.
Main topics of discussion
In their next meetings, panellists will come up with ideas on how to achieve healthy lifestyles, protect biodiversity, produce safe and healthy food, reduce waste, regulate consumption, and reinforce European health systems, among others.
These topics were divided into five subgroups to be addressed in depth:
- Better ways of living
- Protecting our environment and our health
- Redirecting our economy and consumption
- Towards a sustainable society
Twenty representatives randomly selected by the panel will present its suggestions to the Conference Plenary, which will take place on 21-22January in Strasbourg.
The panel on climate change, environment and health will meet online on 19-21 November. The third session will take place on 7-9 January in Warsaw.
Before that the citizens’ panel discussing migration and the EU's role in the world will meet for the first time in Strasbourg on 15-17 October.
The panels' recommendations will help shape the Conference's conclusions, expected in spring 2022.
Get involved and share your ideas for the future of Europe on the Conference platform