Conference on the Future of Europe: Overview of the final proposals

Briefing 30-11-2022

What should the EU look like in 2050? How do you see your life in 2050? These are just some of the questions that the European citizens taking part in the Conference on the Future of Europe were asked to answer during the inaugural session of the European citizens' panels in Strasbourg in September 2021. Shaping a vision of Europe's future was the task of all participants in the Conference, whether they were institutional actors, representatives of civil society, social partners or randomly selected citizens called on to participate in a European democratic process. The Conference, after a delayed start and despite being held in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, was able to achieve its purpose, providing concrete, actionable, sometimes visionary, proposals that show the direction in which the EU should develop in the future. The 49 proposals, articulated into around 326 specific measures, offer a snapshot of what citizens and institutional actors see as suitable actions for Europe to take in order to rise to the challenges of the present and the future. After a reflection period, these measures will need to be implemented if the Conference is to become a credible process and not only a display of wishes and abstract rhetoric. The three EU institutions – the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union – have expressed their views on the possible follow-up and called for deep reforms. The current phase, following the conclusion of the Conference, is therefore a delicate, political moment. It now needs to be decided which reforms will be carried out under the current legislative framework and which will need a 'constituent phase', namely a Convention to revise the EU Treaties as provided for in Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Be that as it may, the Conference has certainly shone a spotlight on key issues and citizens' ideas, which would be difficult for the EU institutions to ignore.