Our petition to the European Parliament
October 06, 2020

Our Petition to the European Parliament: For a transparent and participatory citizens-centered Conference on the Future of Europe

 

We are writing to you with the negotiations on the Conference on the Future of Europe currently underway. The Conference, announced by President Ursula von der Leyen prior to her appointment as Commission President, promised that Europeans will build the future of the Union and that citizens should play a leading role in setting the priorities and level of ambitions of the EU. 

The expectations of the Conference are high, as they must be for the Conference to address and meet the challenges facing the European project at this critical moment in time. However, the way in which the Conference is currently being prepared is highly problematic: the three EU institutions are meeting behind closed doors to agree on a joint declaration and citizens are left completely in the dark. There is no attempt at involving citizens in designing the Conference, and citizens are not in any structured way updated on what is proceeding in the negotiations, let alone are they given the opportunity to contribute and co-create. This is against the spirit of Article 1 of the Treaty on the European Union, which states that decisions should be “taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen,” as well as against the spirit of Article 15(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which states: “In order to promote good governance and ensure the participation of civil society, the Union’s institutions, bodies, offices and agencies shall conduct their work as openly as possible.”

Therefore, we call on the European Parliament to update citizens immediately on the interinstitutional negotiations, and to do so regularly, and to ensure that the joint declaration shows the necessary room and mechanisms for citizens and civil society to further co-create the Conference in the spirit of ‘equal partnership’ promised by Ursula von der Leyen (see political guidelines for the European Commission 2019-2024). In order to achieve this, we call upon you to:

  • Organise a public consultation on how to design and organise the Conference as soon as the joint declaration is published;
  • Ensure that citizens will be involved in setting the agenda of the Conference
  • Facilitate the establishment of an independent EU Civil Society Forum to monitor the Conference and the follow-up process
  • Establish a special European Parliament Working Group on the Conference on the Future of Europe that engages in dialogue with citizens and the EU Civil Society Forum regularly throughout the duration of the Conference 
  • Ensure that the joint declaration contains a clear follow-up mechanism and commitment in order to guarantee that citizens’ inputs are adequately and promptly followed up, and that a process of treaty change is launched, if so recommended by the Conference.

You may wish to read for more details the 10 principles for a citizen-centered Conference on the Future of Europe for the full Conference guide prepared by the Citizens Take Over Europe coalition. 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the fragilities of the European Union and made clear that a participatory and transparent Conference on the Future of Europe is needed more than ever. At the same time, the pandemic enabled a stronger cooperation between civil society and the European Parliament, where other Petitions had been brought to your attention on the topic of a democratic and transparent response to COVID-19 (329-2020). We call on you to demonstrate your democratic courage to support the design and implementation of the Conference that the EU and its citizens need.

Citizens Take Over Europe alliance

  1. AEGEE-Europe
  2. Alliance4Europe
  3. Another Europe is Possible
  4. CitizensLab
  5. CIVICO Europa
  6. Co-Creating Europe
  7. Democracy International e.V.
  8. EUmans
  9. European Alternatives
  10. European Civic Forum
  11. European Democracy Lab
  12. European House
  13. EuropeanConstitution.eu
  14. Europe, a patient
  15. Eurotopia
  16. Fórum dos Cidadãos
  17. Mehr Demokratie e.V.
  18. mehr demokratie! Österreich
  19. Music Theater International
  20. New Europeans
  21. Pulse of Europe
  22. Take a Break from Brexit
  23. The ECI Campaign
  24. The Good Lobby
  25. WeMove Europe

Supporting Partners

  1. ACI – Centro InterCulturaCidade
  2. AlterEuropa
  3. Association of Certified Commercial Diplomats
  4. Associazione Luca Coscioni per la libertà di ricercar scientifica
  5. Basisdemokratie jetzt
  6. Bridging Europe
  7. Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschafliches Engagement (BBE)
  8. Christians for Future Berlin
  9. Christians for Future Germany
  10. Citizens for Europe
  11. CROSOL – Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity
  12. CUBE. Your Take on Europe e.V.
  13. Cultural Diversity Coalition
  14. Culture Solutions Europe
  15. European Citizens’ Rights, Involvement and Trust Foundation (ECIT Foundation)
  16. eCivis, asociacion para la promocion de la ciudadania active
  17. EFF – European Future Forum
  18. Engage Liverpool
  19. Europa Repubblica 
  20. Europa-Union Hochtaunus e.V.
  21. Europa-Zentrum Potsdam
  22. Europe Direct Informationszentrum
  23. European Movement Italy
  24. European Partnership for Democracy
  25. EuroPeers Maastricht
  26. Foundation Open Society Macedonia
  27. Friends of the European Republic
  28. Friends of the Homeless, Dublin
  29. Fundació Aroa
  30. Imagine Europe
  31. Institute of Public Affairs Poland
  32. Italissyme
  33. LIMA-Theater
  34. Lodzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom
  35. Mediation Hub BG Association 
  36. Parents for Future Berlin
  37. PHILEUROPA Deutschland – Fileuropa Italia
  38. Pulse of Europe Berlin
  39. Pulse of Europe Fulda
  40. Pulse of Europe Munich
  41. Pulse of Europe Toulouse
  42. Science for Democracy 
  43. Sortition Foundation
  44. Stati Generali delle Donne
  45. Transition Town Saarbrücken
  46. Vote&Vous
  47. Voxeurop
  48. YMCA Albania