Future of Europe: latest changes in proposals | News

The chairs of the nine thematic working groups presented their proposals to the plenary session of the conference, during which all members – representatives of citizens, European and national parliaments, European institutions, social partners and civil society – debated.

The proposals under consideration are based on the recommendations formulated by citizens in the European and national panels, on the ideas collected by the digital platform of the conference, and on the exchanges that took place during the plenary sessions and working groups of the conference.

Learn more about the draft proposals that were discussed at the plenary session of the previous conference.

While there were calls during the plenary debate for changes to the treaties in many areas, some said the EU needed to move forward with practical solutions that could be applied faster and with the help of existing tools.

The war in Ukraine also had a significant impact on the finalization of proposals.

Final discussions of proposals in 9 areas

In a lively EU debate around the world, the question was raised whether the EU’s remit should be changed to better deal with crises such as the war in Ukraine. Participants discussed the benefits and risks of abolishing the unanimity rule in the Council. Support for less developed countries and trade agreements were also discussed.

The right of states to veto decisions of the Council is also a key theme in the discussion of European democracy. The debate also centered on calls for a more people-centred Europe that continues to listen to citizen input: “We want a European charter for citizen participation. There must be a digital platform and youth control for European legislation,” said Manfred Weber (EPP, Germany).

With regard to migration, discussions focused on strengthening the role of the EU in migration and on a stronger system based on solidarity and shared responsibility, as well as on better integration. “The recommendations include respect for human rights, solidarity, the root causes of migration,” said Jordi Sole (Greens/EFA, Spain).

Calls for the protection of the rule of law have been made during debates about values ​​and rights, the rule of law and security. “European citizens are calling for a value-based EU, they are demanding tougher legislation, tougher action against governments that fail the test,” said Katharina Barley (S&D, Germany). Zdzisław Krasnodenbski (ECR, Poland) said: “I am in favor of discussing our values, but no one should have a monopoly on our values. »

With regard to healthcare, many participants called for new European competencies, including minimum standards for health services in the EU. Alin Mituta (Romania, Renew Europe) said: “We could save more lives if we could cooperate on a European scale in the field of health, for example, having a European list of transplants and cardiovascular diseases. Promoting a healthy lifestyle was also on the agenda: “In schools, we must promote a culture of nutrition,” said Susanna Ceccardi (ID, Italy).

The Working Group on Education, Culture, Youth and Sports moved forward on proposals regarding the harmonization of educational programs, training, increased funding, ending the brain drain and strong social protection for youth. The balance between the development of English in schools and the protection of minority languages ​​was discussed. In the field of sports, issues of gender equality, inclusion and representation in local and traditional sports were raised.

Within the framework of the topics “a stronger economy, social justice and employment”, the proposals were discussed in the context of supporting Ukrainians and combating the socio-economic consequences of the war within the EU. The focus should be on a more sustainable and agile business model, with a focus on moving towards green and digital technologies. There were calls to strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy, guarantee good working conditions and tax fairness.

Food security was one of the main topics discussed under the theme “Climate change and the environment”. Also discussed were: more sustainable agriculture, climate change action accompanied by faster implementation of the Green Deal that goes hand in hand with a fair and equitable transition and better consumer information about mobility and greener food options.

Digital solutions were discussed in all working groups, not just in the digital transformation group. Topics covered included Internet access as a fundamental right, digital skills, cybersecurity, uncensored truthful information, effective data protection, and impartial artificial intelligence. “Access to digital infrastructure should be equal for everyone. Citizens must be at the forefront of deployment,” said Helmut Scholz (“Left”, Germany).

Next steps

At the last plenary meeting of the Conference on 29 and 30 April, the proposals will be approved and submitted to the Executive Bureau of the Conference. The final report will be presented on May 9 in Strasbourg to the Presidents of the European Institutions, who have committed themselves to following it.

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