President for the European Commission, Ms. Ursula Von den Leyen has tasked the Vice President for Democracy and Demography Ms. Dubravka Suica with a conference on the Future of Europe. It will start in 2020 and run for two years and will “bring together citizens, including a significant role for young people, civil society and European institutions as equal partners”.
Von der Leyen instructed Suica to explore ways to make participation in person or online as easy and accessible as possible and promised to follow up on what is agreed, including by legislative texts and that she is also open to treaty change. The conference will be chaired by a Member of the European Parliament.
Europe's Peoples' Forum has closely followed and advised in the European Parliament's discussions about the engagement of citizens. This has taken place under the Committee for Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) and will be confirmed by the EP on the 17th of December.
AFCO's draft Opinion states that the consultations should reach all EU citizens, use online platforms as well as local, regional and national face2face meetings to prioritise policy issues to deal with and at European level develop concrete policy proposals within the prioritised policy areas. In thematic conferences with MEPs, Commissioners, Mayors, CoR, EEPS and civil society organisations and citizens the final policies will be developed.
The conclusions are indeed very promising and near to the methodology developed by the Europe's Peoples' Forum 2 years ago and updated last week. A comprehensive process for citizens that will discuss independent of political parties, governments, and their personal status to find innovative and solid European policy proposals that will add to a future Europe that better reflect peoples' needs.