23 Jun, 2021

Strong liberal presence at first COFOE Plenary meeting

During the inaugural Plenary* meeting of the Conference on the Future of Europe (COFOE) on 19 June, representatives from European and national levels together with citizens discussed key elements of the Conference, including purpose and expectations as well as events for the coming months, including Plenaries, European Citizens’ Panels and European Citizens’ Events.

In his opening speech as co-chair of the Executive Board for COFOE, Guy Verhofstadt MEP remarked that COFOE is an opportunity to establish an effective and resilient Union fit for purpose.

I see the Conference as a relay race. Citizens participating in panels will start it by defining their wishes and recommendations. Then, over several plenary sessions, they will hand over the baton and we will formulate concrete proposals for reform based on their recommendations. The final stage of this race is to approve and implement these reforms through our democratic institutions,” he noted.

Verhofstadt’s full speech is available here.

European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová also took part in the plenary and called on European citizens to engage in the democratic debate.

The EU is a place where we nurture democracy and a healthy democratic debate. It is up to all of us to engage and defend it!” she stressed.

The entire opening session is available here and an edited video here.

In connection with the COFOE Plenary, Renew Europe Group organised a Caucus meeting on 18 June attended by ALDE Party acting co-Presidents Timmy Dooley and Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP, who shared their views on the future of Europe.

ALDE Party is committed to fostering an honest debate about the future of Europe. Earlier this year, we launched an Action Plan on the Future of Europe, which includes a dedicated digital hub, a series of Hans van Baalen townhall meetings, named in honour of our late President Hans van Baalen and organised with ALDE member parties, as well as an ALDE Conference dedicated to the Conference on the Future of Europe.

More information about the ALDE Party Action Plan, including our liberal vision on the future of Europe as well as a platform though which citizens can share their ideas to move Europe forward, are available here.

* The Conference Plenary will be composed of 108 representatives from the European Parliament, 54 from the Council (two per Member State) and 3 from the European Commission, as well as 108 representatives from all national Parliaments on an equal footing and ordinary citizens. 108 European citizens are also expected to take part once the selection process is completed.

Photo credit: Michel Christen, European Parliament 2021.

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