Get your name tags ready, it’s Conference time!

Ok, maybe not this type of conference. But, to be honest, what “type” of conference is the question! In this blog post I’ll try and explain what the mysterious “Conference on the Future of Europe” is all about and where it’s headed. I hope this can make things clearer!

First and foremost: what is the Conference? Having a “conference” on the future of Europe was originally Macron’s idea. The goal was to create a larger debate with citizens on the future of the continent. The idea was taken up by Ursula Von der Leyen in the lead up to her election as current President of the European Commission. The idea of this conference, or this forum for greater debate and discourse amongst European citizens, has been taken up by the Parliament, the Commission and the Council. But in recent months, it has become a hotter topic in the Parliament.

So that’s a little bit of background information. Where are we now? Today and tomorrow the future of the Conference (i.e. what it should look like etc.) will be debated and voted on by the European Parliament. Overall, as it stands the Parliament has a good (albeit still vague) concept of what the conference should look like.

  1. The conference should include multiple, smaller, citizen assemblies on top of the actual main conference (or the Conference plenary).
  2. The Conference should not be a one-time event. It should happen every 3 months for 2 years and should potentially have specific political topics assigned to every instance.
  3. Everyone participates. Representatives from national parliaments, the European Parliament, national governments as well as the Commission should take part in the Conference.

Once these criteria are agreed upon by the Parliament, the Parliament, the Commission and the Council will negotiate the specifics of what the Conference will actually look like.

This being said, what does Volt want out of this debate? We want to stop just talking shop, and push for real results – to the point of potential treaty changes.

We would also want to see the Conference as a new form of democratic exercise – not simply a continuation of old school politics. Resolutions have to be adopted and prepared by participants (that includes the citizens), and not imposed by those holding positions of political leadership.

We would like citizens to have a real say in what is discussed, and that we create ways of evaluating the work of politicians to keep them accountable to their promises after the Conferences take place. Finally, we would like to see the maximum number of citizens participate in the Conference.

I hope this makes the process slightly more understandable. I will keep you informed when further developments come to light! But most importantly – tell me what you think! What should the Conference look like!? Leave me some suggestions in the comments, or feel free to reach out via Twitter or Instagram!