BRUSSELS – The citizens of the Western Balkans have the opportunity to be a part of the Conference on Future of Europe. They will be able to demonstrate how valuable their contributions are in creating solutions for the most pressing issues faced by the continent.
To do so, the Western Balkans citizens, represented by the civil society organisations, can have their voices heard by partnering up with the EU-based organisations, and forwarding their proposals or organising their events by using the Conference’s official online platform.
At the same time, they can attend and comment on other events within the Conference.
The platform will centralise all Conference-related contributions from various citizens’ events. Moreover, it will serve as a basis for regular reporting and for following up on the Conference’s outcomes. For their contributions to be considered under the framework of the Conference, organisations need to address one of its topics: climate change and the environment; digital transformation, values and rights, rule of law, health, etc.
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.
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 Europe Day, 9 May 2021. The Conference will last for one year, until Spring 2022. It aims at debating the issues that matter to EU citizens and affect their daily lives. It is a new, bottom-up and pan-European initiative aimed to give citizens, civil society, and authorities a greater say in the EU policy-making.
The European Parliament, the Council, and the European Commission have committed to listen to Europeans and to follow up, within their sphere of competencies, on the recommendations made. By the spring 2022, the Conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance on the future of Europe.