The Union of European Federalists welcomes the approval of the opinion by the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on the Conference on the Future of Europe laying the ground for an ambitious position and a leading role of the European Parliament in the Conference.
The Conference, initially proposed by the French President Macron and then taken up by new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her political guidelines for the European Commission 2019-2024. It is expected to be endorsed in the European Council's conclusions at the end of this week and to start working early next year.
The European Federalists welcome AFCO’s support of an open and democratic vision for the Conference on the Future of Europe. This conference will have to consult and engage citizens and institutional representatives at all levels. It should be an exercise of real democratic participation, not just a series of dialogues with citizens with no results - as too many times in the past. The Conference must clearly aim at recommending policy and institutional reforms to make the European Union stronger, more democratic, more efficient, more transparent, and with a greater capacity to act in Europe, as well as in the global scene.
The AFCO opinion includes many proposals from the Federalists, including that the Conference should have an open mandate, that it should be ready to discuss all questions of policies and institutions and that it should be open to consider changes to European treaties, as it will be certainly necessary to meet its goals. Citizens’ participation in the Conference should be ensured through a combination of consultations and direct participation.
Sandro GOZI, President of the Union of European Federalists, commented: “We have a unique opportunity to engage citizens across Europe in a first-time exercise of transnational democracy leading to concrete results on European policies and institutions. Ten years after the Lisbon Treaty, in a completely changed Europe and global order, it is high time to address the questions of Europe’s competencies, resources and institutions with no taboos, including no fear to break unanimity if not all Member States will agree on an ambitious reform roadmap".
The European Federalists look forward to seeing AFCO proposal becoming the official position of the Parliament with a resolution in plenary in January, including also further proposals on the Conference's composition and method of working in preparation by a Working Group set up by the President of the European Parliament.
The European Federalists recommend the European Commission and the European Council to follow the position of the EP and agree on a concept, mandate, structure, as well as timing of the Conference as soon as possible in order to enable preparations to start early in the new year.
The Union of European Federalists (UEF) is a pan-European, non-governmental political organisation dedicated to the promotion of European political unity. For more than 70 years UEF has been a leading voice in the promotion of European unity and an early campaigner for key milestones in the development of the European Communities and then the European Union. With 25 national sections and over 400 local groups across Europe, UEF promotes a federal Europe among citizens and political representatives at all levels of government. More on: www.federalists.eu