On Europe Day 9 May 2022 in Strasbourg, the Conference on the Future of Europe concluded its work with the presentation of a report including 49 proposals and over 300 measures, recommending action from the three EU Institutions.
The EPP regional and local delegation participate at this historical meeting alongside the president of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola, President Emmanuel Macron, President Ursula von der Leyen, Vice President of the European Commission Dubravka Suica.
The report comes after one-year of deliberations and collaboration between citizens, European, national and regional and local politicians as well as civil society. The proposals are based on recommendations made by citizens and adopted in the Conference’s plenary and working groups including input from the Multilingual Digital Platform of the Conference. The EPP regional and local delegation consists of 11 delegates who participated in the Working Groups and Plenary. Many of their ideas and contributions found place in the final report of the Conference.
Olgierd Geblewicz, President of the EPP-CoR and President of West Pomerania Region said: “Gathering together citizens with local, regional, national and European politicians was a unique and great experience. Only together we can build a stronger and united Europe. The Conference on the future of Europe proved that we all want to create a good future for our common Europe.”
Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the Committee of the Regions said that: “The citizens have spoken! Let us deliver together the 49 recommendations of the Conference on the Future of Europe to make Europe more efficient and green. Failing is not an option! The local and regional authorities are ready to take on their responsibility to improve the lives of our citizens.”
This #EuropeDay2022 reminds us of our choice to live together in peace.
United in diversity.
Overcoming current challenges only works by strengthening a bottom up EU, by bringing more solidarity, resilience & sustainability in every local community. pic.twitter.com/QwH8lLOoYT
— Apostolos Tzitzikostas (@CoR_President) May 9, 2022
” The 9th of May is the closing event of the Conference on the Future of Europe but it can’t be the final step of the process. As members of the Committee of the Regions we need to make sure that our recommendations are taken up by the EU institutions and they are politically implemented.” said Mark Speich, Secretary of State for Federal, European and International Affairs (North Rhine-Westphalia).
Jelena Drenjanin, EPP-CoR 1st Vice-President and Vice-mayor of Huddinge Municipality highlighted that: “After 9th of May we must implement all the innovative and good recommendations received from our citizens. On digital transformation we recommend to improve infrastructure, take care of upskilling, protect online workers and make European companies prosper.”
Mayor of Cluj-Napoca and former Prime Minister of Romania, Emil Boc stated that “It is our duty as local and regional authorities, national and European institutions to turn our citizens voice into a concrete reality. Europe was created from a top-down initiative. Now, we have to create a stronger and long lasting 🇪🇺 from the bottom-up perspective with the citizens at its core.
Ilse Aigner, President of the Bavarian State Parliament and CoR delegate on behalf of the Regional Parliaments of Germany The organisation and implementation of regular citizens’ assemblies at EU level should not bypass the regional parliaments. If the plans of the Conference on the Future of Europe are now to be implemented, the regional parliaments must be closely involved – especially when it comes to considerations on the establishment of a convention and possible treaty changes. For a sustainable and future-proof Europe, we must strengthen democratic structures and parliamentarianism at all levels. “
The Conference has allowed citizens to voice their aspirations for the future of our union. Now it is time for the EU and its members to make them a reality. As the level of government citizens trust most, the final conclusions must recognise the vital role of regions in empowering citizens.” said Magnus Berntsson, President of the Assembly of European Regions and Vice-President of the Regional Council of Västra Götaland
Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova stated that: “The mayors and regional representatives have demonstrated that they stand firmly behind the ideas of our citizens and are ready to support them. We hope that we have paved the way for a new type of European democracy, where citizens and their elected representatives discuss and make proposals together to match European policies with the needs of their local communities. ”
After a year of debate the Conference on the Future of Europe has shown that citizens are demanding more transparency, more inclusion, more sustainability and more security. The institutional debate has been held in Brussels and Strasbourg, but the process has reinforced the notion that local and regional elected leaders are the link between citizens and national governments and Europe.
From now on the three EU institutions – the Commission the Council and the European Parliament will have to swiftly examine how they will follow up on the report in the framework of their competences. The European Parliament has already clearly called for the convening of a Convention tasked with the revision of the EU Treaties. The EPP CoR delegation will continue to monitor and take active part in any further implementation steps.