European Democracy 

 
 

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Citizens information, participation and youth


In order to increase citizens’ participation in European democracy and ensure that their voice is heard at all times, the Conference Plenary proposes to improve the information provided to them by creating an official website summarizing how they can participate on the democratic decisions, a digital platform to share citizens’ ideas, questions and views as well as a mobile application presenting EU policies in a clear language. Citizens’ assemblies whose outcome should be taken on board by the institutions should be held periodically. To reflect interests of young people in the legislation, an impact assessment of all EU legislation on the youth should be performed. The Plenary also called for a minimum level of education on the EU, both at schools and through civil society organisations. The EU must further support civil society and free, pluralistic and independent media. The protection of journalists and fight against disinformation and foreign interferences must be a priority too.


Key Parliament actions


Democracy and elections


To strengthen European democracy, the Conference Plenary points out that the EU should firstly strengthen common democratic values in its borders so that it can promote its democratic model in external countries. To improve the democratic element of the EU, the European Parliament should have the right to trigger an EU wide referendum. The EU electoral law should be amended so that Union-wide list for the election of some Members is introduced and it is ensured that all citizens can participate on the vote. The President of the Commission should be elected directly or through a lead candidate system. The Plenary also proposed to grant more rights to the European Parliament including the right of legislative initiative and the right to decide on the EU budget.


Key Parliament actions


EU decision making process


The EU must improve its capability to act, says the Conference Plenary. To that end, all issues decided in the Council by way of unanimity should be decided by way of a qualified majority, with the exception of an admission of new membership to the EU and changes to the fundamental principles of the EU. To improve the transparency of decision-making, the meetings of the Council and the European Parliament should be broadcasted online. For better accountability, the European Parliament’s right of inquiry should be strengthened, concluded the Plenary. To make the EU more comprehensible, the names of EU institutions could be changed so that they resemble names of national institutions. A new debate should be re-opened to consider adopting an EU constitution.


Key Parliament actions

  • MEPs are expected to table a resolution during Parliament’s 2-5 May plenary session to call for a revision of the Treaties. After this, the responsible committee may submit to Parliament a report containing proposals, addressed to the Council, for the amendment of the Treaties.


Subsidiarity


The Plenary considers subsidiarity a key principle for the EU functioning. It therefore proposed national Parliaments and regional parliaments that have legislative power to be granted the possibility to suggest a legislative initiative to the European level. The Committee of Regions should be given an enhanced role in the EU’s institutional architecture and social partners and organised civil society should be better included in the decision-making process.

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