What is the Conference about?
The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is an initiative of the European Union with the purpose of analysing what reforms should be made to its policies and institutions looking at the medium and long term.
The Conference will enable EU citizens -and particularly young people- to share their ideas and help to shape our common future!
Where does this idea come from?
In March 2019 the French President Emmanuel Macron launched the idea of a Conference for Europe in order to propose all the changes that the European project needs”.
After her election in July 2019, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen supported the idea by confirming that the Conference should start in 2020 and run for two years.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed its launching until the Europe Day (9 May) 2021. The Conference will finally last for one year, until Spring 2022.
Explanatory video prepared by the European Parliament
What is the Conference's goal?
The Conference aims at debating the issues that matter to EU citizens and affect their daily lives to change Europe into a better place for everyone.
It will be a new public forum for an open, inclusive, transparent and structured debate, and every single European citizen should be able to introduce new issues on the agenda.
What will be the most relevant topics of the CoFoE?
Climate change & the environment
A stronger economy, social justice and jobs
The EU in the World
Values and rights, rule of law, security
Education, Culture, Youth & Sport
How will it work?
Events and Meetings
The CoFoE will not consist of a single event, but of a series of physical and digital meetings, panels and debates involving European citizens.
Both physical (when COVID-19 restrictions allow it) and online events will be organised at different transnational, national and regional levels. At the European level, the EU institutions will be responsible for organising the citizens’ panels, which will be broadcasted live.
Besides Conference plenaries, events can be classified in these two main categories:
- Decentralised events – online, face-to-face and hybrid events held by all kinds of actors: people, organisations and national, regional or local authorities.
- European Citizens’ Panels – will discuss different topics and be representative in terms of geographic origin, gender, age, socioeconomic background and/or level of education.
- Conference Plenary Assembly
The Online Platform
Presented in April 2021, the multilingual digital platform of the Conference (https://futureu.europa.eu) will play a key role, enabling all the EU citizens -but also public actors & all kinds of organisations from civil society- to provide their views & opinions on any relevant topic for the future of Europe.
Hence, the platform will allow people to…
- Share their own ideas, and approve or comment on those of others, in any of the 24 EU official languages.
- Access a map of events (digital, hybrid or physical) and register to participate.
- Upload information about their own organised events.
How will the Conference be structured?
Its main organs
The Conference will have a triple Joint Presidency, composed of the Presidents of the EC, the EP and the rotating Presidency of the Council, namely Ursula von der Leyen, David Sassoli and -as of first term of 2021- the Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa.
The Executive Board will oversee the work of the conference and prepare the plenary meetings of the conference, including the feedback of citizens’ contributions. It will oversee the Conference as it progresses, prepare the meetings of the Conference Plenary (including citizens’ input) and draw and publish the its conclusions. Its decisions will be taken on a consensus basis.
It will be composed by three representative of the Renew Europe (Guy Verhofstadt), EPP (Manfred Weber) and S&D (Iratxe García) EP groups, with Gerolf Annemans (ID), Daniel Freund (Greens/EFA), Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR) and Helmut Scholz (The Left) with an observer role.
The Joint Secretariat will assist the Executive board, and will be composed of one representative from each of the main EU institution, namely EU Commission Vice President Dubravka Šuica, Ana Paula Zacarias (from the EUCO Portuguese Presidency) and MEP Guy Verhofstadt representing the European Parliament.
Conference Plenary Assembly
The Plenary Assembly of the Conference will meet every six months to ensure that citizens’ proposals are discussed in the forum. It will be composed by representatives from the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission, representatives from all national Parliaments, on an equal footing and citizens; representatives from the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee, social partners and civil society.
9 May 2021 (Strasbourg, France)
Conference Plenary Sessions
- Inaugural session: 19 June 2021
- 22-23 October 2021
- 17-18 December 2021 (limited to the Working Group level)
- 21-22 January 2022 (discussing Panel 3-4 proposals)
- 18-19 February 2022 (preliminary Plenary proposals presented)
- 11-12 March 2022
- TBC 22-24 April 2022 (feedback event with the Citizens’ Panels)
- First interim Platform report – an overview of the Digital Platform proposals April-August (10 September 2021).
- Second interim Platform report – an overview of the Digital Platform proposals August-September (10 September 2021).
- Activity report March-June (15 October 2021).
- Third interim report: 1 December 2021
- Final report: TBD
European Citizens Panels:
Inaugural event: 17 June 2021 (Lisbon, Portugal).
Panel 1: Stronger economy, social justice, jobs & education, youth, culture, sport & digital transformation:
- Session 1: 17-19 September 2021 (Strasbourg, France)
- Session 2: 5-7 November 2021 (online)
- Session 3: – postponed, new date to be announced (Dublin, Ireland).
- Recommendations presented to the Plenary: 17-18 December 2021.
Panel 2: Values, rights, rule of law, democracy & (internal) security:
- Session 1: 24-26 September 2021 (Strasbourg, France)
- Session 2: 12-14 November 2021 (online)
- Session 3: 10-12 December 2021 (Florence, Italy – hybrid format)
- Recommendations presented to the Plenary: 17-18 December 2021
Panel 3: Climate change, environment & health:
- Session 1: 1-3 October 2021 (Strasbourg, France)
- Session 2: 19-21 November 2021 (online)
- Session 3: 7-9 January 2022 (Natolin, Poland)
- Recommendations presented to the Plenary: 21-22 January 2022.
Panel 4: EU in the world & migration:
- Session 1: 15-17 October 2021 (Strasbourg, France)
- Session 2: 26-28 November 2021 (online)
- Session 3: 14-16 January 2021 (Maastricht, Netherlands)