The Conference on the Future of Europe: Was it worth it?

Foederalist - 20 jun. 2022

Héctor Sánchez Margalef, researcher at CIDOB, reflects on the outcomes of the Conference on the Future of Europe in this article for Foederalist.eu: “As the European Union loves symbolism, the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) had to finish on the 9th of May of 2022, the Day of Europe. That is exactly one year after it had officially started, and after bringing together citizens from all over Europe face-to-face and online in different panels that produced 49 proposals. What it did not produce was all the enthusiasm among the European citizens that its promoters had wished for. The other uncertainty that remains to uncover is the legacy of the Conference, whether and what kind of follow-up it will have. Then, it is necessary to ask: was it all worth it? There could be three possible ways of assessing the worthiness of the Conference on the Future of Europe: (1) the number of citizens it mobilized, thus the legitimization gained through the process; (2) the quality of the proposals produced by the Conference that found their way to the final report, thus the legitimization gained through the policy proposals; and (3) the follow-up process of the Conference and its capacity (a) to evolve towards a process of permanent citizen consultation continuing the experimentation of deliberative democracy and/or (b) to implement the policy ideas of the final report and/or (c) to kick-start a Convention that results in Treaty change.”

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