22 Sep, 2021

Citizen participation key for Europe’s future

The first of four European Citizens’ Panels* gathered together 200 European citizens in Strasbourg on 17-19 September to debate topics that matter the most for the future of Europe and that will be the focus of their deliberations at the end of the Conference on the Future of Europe, a unique democratic exercise.

In this first session, participants discussed topics such as economy, education and social justice. Moreover, the participants examined the first interim report from the bespoke digital platform set up for the Conference on the Future of Europe and selected their representatives to the Conference Plenary.

Europe’s liberals believe that the participation of citizens is key to ensure that this new and unprecedented democratic exercise does not become just a public relations stunt. The Conference on the Future of Europe should be a genuinely democratic process where citizens, including Europe’s youth, can make their voices heard and express their ideas on how to improve the EU.

ALDE Party is playing an active role in the development of the Conference to ensure that citizens are in the spotlight. We are giving citizens the opportunity to submit their own ideas for the future of Europe through our dedicated digital hub and through our Hans van Baalen town hall meetings, held across Europe. More information about our action plan and how to get involved here.

*The European Citizens' Panels are one of the pillars of the Conference on the Future of Europe and aim at bringing together 800 citizens randomly selected to debate key topics on the future of Europe and draw some recommendations that will be presented and discussed at the Conference Plenary. The first session of each panel will be held in Strasbourg (i.e., Panel 1 on 17-19 September, Panel 2 on 24-26 September, Panel 3 on 1-3 October, and Panel 4 on 15-17 October), the second online, and the third one in European institutes in other European cities (Dublin, Florence, Warsaw and Maastricht). These panels are jointly organised by the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission.

Photo credit: Brigitte Hase, European Parliament 2021. 

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