November 30, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Maros Sefsovic: CoFoE launched a major European debate with citizens’ opinions

The conference on the future of Europe launched a major European debate, where European citizens had the opportunity to say what they could improve in the European Union. This was said by Maros Sevsowicz, European Commission Vice-President for Inter-Institutional Relations and Strategic Outlook.

Compare the current CoFoE with the European Agreement, also known as the Europe Future Agreement. He noted that unlike in 2001-2003, European citizens are now given plenty of space to express themselves. According to Sevechovich, discussions at that time were more focused on the internal functioning of the arrangement within the Federation.

The European Convention was set up by the European Council in December 2001 to draft the Constitution of the European Union. The agreement ended its operation in July 2003 with a draft treaty that established a constitution for Europe.

“The agreement focused on the European Union Constitutional Treaty, which focused mainly on the institutional structure and how the institutions of the European Union work, especially after the accession of new member states,” he said.

Šifovic appreciated that related discussions are also taking place on a multilingual digital platform, seeing a relatively high intensity of discussion in all national languages. However, he considers direct meetings with European citizens invaluable. They were chosen at the conference at random and in a manner commensurate with parity between men and women and that at least one third of the participants be under the age of 25.

“This is the most enriching meeting where you hear specific suggestions and proposals. The Slovak EU Commissioner explained that “the current EU executive will finish its mandate at the end of 2024.

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Šivović added that no one in the EU institutions wanted the conference to be just a “long-term diplomatic exercise”, but that citizens’ ideas were outlined during next year’s French presidency of the EU Council. At least two additional years for the more realistic implementation of citizens’ expectations in concrete actions and legislative proposals.