17 June 2022
On Friday 17 June 2022, the European Commission adopted the communication titled “Conference on the Future of Europe – Putting vision into concrete action”, outlining how it can follow up on the outcomes of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The Conference ended on 9 May 2022 with a closing ceremony in Strasbourg, at which the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Council, and the President of the Commission received a final report laying down 49 proposals and 326 individual measures.
This was certainly a positive result, both for the quantity and quality of the proposals and for the hundreds of thousands of involved European citizens who contributed to the debate on the future of Europe. Yet, the success of the Conference will depend on the true changes it will succeed in initiating.
The Commission's communication is the first step in this direction. It assesses what needs be done to make the Conference's proposals a reality, provides an overview of the next steps, shows how to learn the most from the Conference and integrate participatory democracy into EU policies and lawmaking. By building on the Conference success, the Commission will empower European citizens' panels to deliberate and make recommendations ahead of some key proposals, within its overall policy-making role and in line with the better regulation guidelines.
The Communication defines four categories of responses:
- Initiatives already in place that fulfill the proposals made (e.g. European climate legislation);
- Initiatives proposed by the European Commission which require adoption by the European Parliament and the Council (e.g. new Migration Pact);
- Planned actions that will follow up on ideas resulting from Conference remarks (e.g. media freedom legislation);
- New initiatives or policy areas inspired by the proposals set forth and falling within the Commission’s remit (e.g. mental health).
President von der Leyen will announce the first set of proposals in her State of the Union Address in September 2022 and in the accompanying Letter of Intent. These proposals will be included in the Commission's work programme for 2023 and beyond. Furthermore, a feedback event will be held in autumn 2022 to keep the momentum of the Conference alive and update the citizens who attended it. That will be an opportunity to communicate and explain how the European institutions are implementing the proposals and to take stock of the progress made so far.Conference on the Future of Europe