16 September 2020 – Citizens Take Over Europe welcomes President Von der Leyen’s due reference to the Conference on the Future of Europe in her State of the Union address, but calls for greater transparency and citizen participation in the planning of the Conference.
The Conference on the Future of Europe was initially announced by Von der Leyen in advance of her appointment as Commission President as part of a ‘new push for European democracy’. However, in order to be effective, the Conference needs to involve citizens from the very beginning. The interinstitutional negotiations around the Conference are shrouded in secrecy, missing out on the expertise and experience of civil society practitioners in running participative processes, and not including citizens in setting the agenda or format of the Conference.
Including health competences in the agenda of the Conference is welcome, as is the perspective of treaty change this suggests, but the agenda must be broader and co-created with citizens from diverse backgrounds and experiences to reflect their priorities and build trust in a process which is about our common future.
The transnational civil society coalition Citizens Take Over Europe has laid out 10 principles for a citizens-centred Conference on the Future of Europe which can be found here: