“Europe Day” as a starting point to shape the “Future of Europe”

May 07, 2021

EU values and Enlargement

This year, on May 9th not only will people celebrate the “Europe Day”, but it will also mark the beginning of the Conference on the Future of Europe (COFOE), held – in hybrid format – at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.  Yet, what is the Conference on the Future of Europe? At least once in a while, each of us asked him/herself this question. Well, the Conference (COFOE) represents the opportunity for European citizens to discuss and debate on both challenges, priorities; and on the future path that Europe should follow. Thus, the idea behind it is that all three institutions – be they European Parliament; Council and Commission – will listen to European citizens, their ideas and proposals as far as the future of Europe concerns.

Still one question still remains: “How can people actively join the Conference?” 

Based on a bottom-up and citizens-oriented approach, citizens can both take part in several conferences and events, divided into topics. Starting from the multilingual digital platform citizens will have the possibility to share their ideas; organise events while joining some of them already available at the participatory space online. Furthermore, also from the institutional side, organise European citizens’ panels, which should both be representatives in terms of citizens’ age, socioeconomic background, gender and origins; and provide inputs to the Conference Plenary.

“The Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission aim to give citizens a say on what matters to them”

The latter will make sure that recommendations, resulting from panels and debates, will be taken into account at future meetings, scheduled at least every six months. More technically, representatives from the Parliament; the Council; the Commission; as well as representatives from national parliaments will constitute the Conference Plenary. Besides, exponents from the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee, together with Social Partners and Civil Society will also be represented. The final outcome of the Conference will be delivered to the  Joint Presidency, resulting from the authority of all the three institutions. 

As one can read in the COFOE Joint Declaration, “the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission aim to give citizens a say on what matters to them”. Having that in mind, for those who have been following ALDA and its work, soon they will recognise the importance that this occasion has,  when it comes to bringing people’s voice at the institutional level. Thus,  in this regard, our Secretary General – Antonella Valmorbida – has been recently elected in the Steering Committee of the Civil Society Convention, holding a key position as far as promoting citizens’ ideas, wishes and need concerns. Within this framework, ALDA, together with other CSOs, has always been consistent, concrete and proactive in stimulating citizens engagements and dialogue among people and institutions. 

ALDA looks forward to the Conference on the Future of Europe, as a concrete occasion to restar, to improve and to strengthen Europe together with its citizens!

Join other citizens, and take part in the “Europe Day activities”: