European Commission announces outcome of largest public consultation on Europe's future: 49 proposals and 326 measures

The European Commission announced on Friday that it has drawn up a plan to implement the results of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the largest popular consultation process on the future of the European Union. For a year, EU citizens were consulted about their expectations of Europe, creating a vision for its future together. The result of the consultation process is a set of 49 comprehensive proposals and 326 individual measures, the European Commission said in a statement.

After a year of debate, the Conference on the Future of Europe ended on 9 May 2022. At the closing ceremony in Strasbourg, the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council received a final report from the conference participants, containing 49 comprehensive proposals. , ambitious and forward-looking and 326 individual measures.

The proposals, which cover nine comprehensive topics, were based on recommendations made by citizens in European citizens ‘and national citizens’ discussion groups, which presented their ideas through the Multilingual Digital Platform, according to the EC statement.

“The conference has yielded results both in terms of quantity and quality of proposals, but its success will ultimately depend on the change it can bring. In this spirit, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council undertook in the Joint Declaration of March 2021 to implement the proposals – each within its own competences and in accordance with the Treaties. President von der Leyen reiterated that commitment at the closing ceremony of the conference, “the statement said.

Friday’s communication is the first step in the process by which the Commission will follow up on the proposals. The Communication provides an assessment of what is needed to address the conference’s proposals, provides an overview of the next steps and the best ways to learn from the conference and integrate participatory democracy into policy and legislation development. EU. For example, taking into account the success of European citizens’ discussion groups at the conference, the Commission will allow these groups to debate and make recommendations on certain important proposals, as part of the wider policy-making process and in line with the principles of better regulation.

“European citizens have given us a number of excellent and varied ideas for improving the Union: 49 detailed proposals and more than 300 measures to improve our daily lives and build a better future. I promised to put these ideas into practice. Today’s communication is a first step in this direction. I will always be with those who want to reform the Union in order to improve its functioning, “said EC President Ursula von der Leyen, according to a statement.

Analysis of proposals and next steps

In order for the evaluation of proposals to be credible, the Commission considers it essential to respect the spirit and letter of the proposals, without any reinterpretation or selection. This is set out in the Annex to the Communication. The 49 proposals are divided according to the same thematic areas chosen at the conference, the Commission’s evaluation being established for each area.

The Annex sets out four categories of responses: existing initiatives addressing the proposals (eg European Climate Law); those already proposed by the Commission, on which the European Parliament and the Council are invited to adopt legislation (for example, the new Migration Pact); planned actions that will put into practice the ideas presented, based on new reflections from the conference (for example, the Law on Freedom of the Media); and new initiatives or areas of activity inspired by the proposals, which fall within the Commission’s remit (for example, mental health issues).

The first set of new proposals will be announced in President von der Leyen’s speech on the state of the Union in September 2022, as well as in the accompanying letter of intent. These proposals will be part of the proposals that will be included in the Commission’s work program for 2023 and beyond. In the process, the Commission will ensure that new reforms and policies and discussions on the need to amend the Treaties are not mutually exclusive, focusing on making the most of the current possibilities and at the same time remaining open to amending the Treaties where necessary.

First report, in the fall

In order to further inform the citizens who attended the conference and to maintain this momentum, an event will be organized in the autumn of 2022 during which the observations on the conference will be shared. This event would be an opportunity to communicate and explain how the three EU institutions are responding to the proposals and analyzing the progress made at this stage of the process.

“The success of the conference on the future of Europe was due to the dedication, commitment and rigor of all the citizens involved. They expressed their vision for the future and entrusted us with its implementation, “said EC Vice President Dubravka Suica.

“Citizens across Europe have put in a lot of energy and effort to come up with these 49 proposals. I have been a direct witness to their actions, especially in the field of health. It is now our turn, within the EU institutions, to put in the same energy and the same efforts to meet their demands. By including the results of the conference in the Commission’s 2023 work program, we can clearly demonstrate to the citizens that we have not only listened to them, but also understood them, “said Vice President Maros Sefcovic.

“The conference on the future of Europe has given us the opportunity to listen more carefully to European citizens. Now we have to produce tangible results. Today’s communication is a first step towards putting the proposals into practice and is a concrete action following the recommendations made by the citizens, “said Vice President Věra Jourova.

What is the Conference on the Future of Europe?

In her July 2019 policy guidelines, President von der Leyen called for a conference on the future of Europe as part of a vision for a new impetus for European democracy – and pledged to deliver on its results.

The Conference on the Future of Europe, which was launched on Europe Day in 2021, took place over a year. It was an unprecedented pan-European exercise in deliberative democracy – the largest and largest of its kind. The conference brought together people of all ages, from all countries and backgrounds, and many of them had never collaborated on Europe or were unfamiliar with the institutional structure of the European Union. All these people have contributed with their different stories, perspectives, languages ​​and identities, expressed their expectations of Europe and together created a vision for its future.

The proposals made at the conference include 326 measures that the EU institutions and Member States would put into practice in nine areas: climate change and the environment; the health; a stronger economy, social justice and jobs; The EU in the world; values ​​and rights, the rule of law, security; digital transformation; European democracy; migration; education, culture, youth and sport.

Editor: Bogdan Pacurar

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