The Conference should demonstrate that politics is intrinsically connected to other spheres of life, such as arts and culture. In order to showcase this, a number of transnational festivals should be set up as part of the Conference, aimed at reaching the widest possible audience.
About the CTOE coalition
Citizens Take Over Europe emerged in the spring 2020 amidst the recent Covid-19 pandemia, in which we recognized how much the lack of European democracy is deeply affecting our lives. We are a group of civil society organizations, citizens and residents from across Europe, joined in a common effort to promote a forward-looking and citizens-centered European democracy.
10 principles for a citizen-centered Conference on the Future of Europe
In July 2019, Ursula von der Leyen announced her intention to convene a two-year Conference on the Future of Europe, with the proclaimed aim to involve “citizens, including a significant role for young people, civil society and European institutions as equal partners.” We, the Citizens Take Over Europe coalition, welcome this proposal to “give citizens their say” by means of a structured transnational participatory process. However, it needs to be done right in order to have the intended effect. By means of the 10 principles below, we want to make our contribution to the institutional deliberations on how to shape the Conference on the Future of Europe (hereafter: the Conference).
EU citizens and residents, including notably young people, should have the opportunity to shape the Conference at every step of its development, starting with the decisions on the design, scope and objectives of the Conference, as well as the status of its public input into EU decision-making.
Participation in the Conference should be inclusive. All participatory channels must be open to both EU citizens and EU residents. The citizens’ assemblies must be composed by means of stratified random selection, ensuring a balanced representation of people from different ages, genders, countries of residence, socio-economic backgrounds, and with different attitudes towards the EU (ranging from very positive to very negative).
The Conference should have the freedom to set its own agenda and to put forward every possible proposal for the future of Europe, with all options on the table, including treaty changes, and without pre-emption of any of the outcomes of the discussion. The Conference should have the power to decide its own rules and proceedings and possible additional participatory instruments.
The Conference should maximise opportunities for dialogue, deliberation and contestation among citizens, between citizens and politicians, and with other stakeholders including relevant experts.
The Conference should maximize opportunities for interaction, deliberation and collaboration among people from different countries. All participatory instruments should be transnational.
All official Conference-related meetings and events should be livestreamed, recorded and made publicly available. All official Conference-related documents should be made publicly available in at least all official EU languages on a single online platform.
The Conference Plenary should be accountable to the public at large by providing citizens with clear written feedback on the input developed by means of the participatory instruments of the Conference.
Prior to the start of the Conference, the EU institutions should commit themselves to following up on the resolutions to be adopted by the Conference. National, regional and local authorities should be invited to make a similar commitment.
Local, regional, national and EU authorities should use all available means to publicise the Conference and Conference-related events. They should actively seek to generate media interest in the Conference. In addition to analogue communication, digital technologies should be used to multiply outreach. The Conference should have its own visual identity, and set up a single online platform that should function as the ‘online hub’ of the Conference.
Your time to vote!
We want to know your opinion, ideas and suggestions about the future of Europe. Every week, a new key question on European Democracy proposed by the Coalition will be released on this website. Have a say about the future of Europe!
Do you know what the Conference on the Future of Europe is?
In July 2019, Ursula von der Leyen announced her intention to convene a two-year Conference on the Future of Europe, with the proclaimed aim to involve “citizens, including a significant role for young people, civil society and European institutions as equal partners.” But does actually people know what the Conference is about?
Maps of events
Citizens Take Over Europe organises and participates in many events and assemblies across Europe and beyond. Our events are online, physical gatherings and hybrid, and include conferences, open debates, assemblies, book presentations, and much more! Check out our past and upcoming events, and come to meet us!