EU leaders agreed on a plan to launch a Conference on the Future of Europe — a discussion forum meant to give citizens a chance to shape how the European Union will look in five, 10 or 20 years from now.
The Conference is the first of its kind: as a major pan-European democratic exercise, it offers a new public forum for an open, inclusive, and transparent debate with citizens around a number of key priorities and challenges.
The Conference aims to reflect European diversity, and to bring Europe beyond its capital cities, reaching every corner of the EU, strengthening the link between Europeans and the institutions that serve them. Young people in particular will be encouraged to take part and share their ideas. European, national, regional and local authorities, as well as civil society and other organisations can also organise events to involve as many people as possible.
Overseeing the conference will be a three-strong Joint Presidency — composed of the presidents of the Commission and the Parliament, as well as the EU’s rotating Council presidency.
Then, an Executive Board will make decisions by consensus, assisted by a Common Secretariat. The board will have nine members representing the Commission, Parliament and Council, and up to four observers. The three EU presidents will oversee the process while the Executive Board members will be in charge of making the conference work.
Additionally, a Conference Plenary will meet at least every six months to make sure the citizens’ recommendations are debated.