On Saturday, October 23, the 80 representatives of the European Citizens Panels took their seats as members of the plenary. As a subject, they focused on the contributions of citizens from:
The Conference on the Future of Europe is an unprecedented democratic, open and inclusive exercise, with a Multilingual Digital Platform, in which all EU citizens are instructed to speak out on how to shape our common future in various ways.
The Co-Chairs of the Conference made the following statements in Strasbourg:
Guy Verhofstadt (European Parliament) said: “The enthusiasm on the citizens’ panels is high, as expectations are high, the formula is working. Now, the plenary must find answers to the questions raised, in the form of a common vision of the future of Europe and concrete results on how to reform the European Union. EU policy has to measure up to the situation”.
Gašper Dovžan (EU Council Presidency) said: “Tens of thousands of citizens continue to discuss the future of Europe on European and national panels and events, as well as on the Platform. The plenary will debate and present their recommendations in the areas that interest them most, without a pre-determined outcome. This is the first plenary meeting under the Slovenian Presidency of the Council and we are delighted to welcome representatives from our Western Balkan partners, who are key players with whom we share responsibility for the future of the EU”.
Dubravka Šuica (Vice-President of the European Commission): “This is a historic moment when, for the first time, citizens deliberate on an equal footing with their elected representatives at all levels. Bringing citizens to the heart of politics will strengthen our representative democracies as we navigate our common future.”
Excerpts from the plenary meeting are available on Europe by Satellite (EbS) and all audiovisual coverage (including an edited video) can be downloaded from European Parliament Multimedia Center. A video of the three co-chairs’ press statements is also available.
The next plenary meeting of the Conference will take place on December 17th and 18th. In the meantime, citizens will continue to send their contributions to the Conference:
- the European Citizens Panels will meet online in November and the first two will finalize their recommendations and present them at the December plenary;
- an Multilingual Digital Platform remains available for citizens’ ideas and events, which will be included in the third report, due in December, and which will contribute to the conclusions of the European Citizens Panels and to the forthcoming meetings of the Conference plenary;
- national panels and events continue to be organized in the Member States.
About the plenary meeting
The plenary meeting was prepared by working groups, which had their constitutive meetings on Friday.
The plenary includes representatives of the European Parliament (108), the Council (54, two per Member State) and the European Commission (3), as well as all national parliaments (108), on an equal footing, and citizens ( 108). Under the ‘citizens’ component, representatives of European Citizens’ Panels (80), representatives of national events or national citizens’ panels (27, one for each Member State) and the President of the European Youth Forum participate in the deliberations. In addition, representatives of the Committee of the Regions (18) and the European Economic and Social Committee (18), elected representatives of regional (6) and local (6) authorities and representatives of the social partners (12) and society participate as members. of civil society (8). For the first time, representatives from the Western Balkans participated as key partners.
About the panels and the Multilingual Digital Platform
The Multilingual Digital Platform gathered 8,600 ideas and 14,900 comments from over 31,000 participants. The four European Citizens Panels had as their first meetings, bringing together around 800 citizens from across the EU. Other events – more than 3 180 – were also held across the European Union, bringing together more than 140 000 participants.
Reports from the first sections of the dashboards and how lists of workflows and sub-themes that citizens selected for their main discussions are available at Multilingual Digital Platform:
Panel 4 The EU in the world / migration.
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