The Conference on the Future of Europe is a political forum launched by the European Commission and the European Parliament on May 9, 2021. Its aim is to enable more participation of EU citizens in the debates on the future of the EU and Europe.
Young citizens are also encouraged to be involved more actively than usual in political processes and are given the opportunity to contribute their own ideas and demands on a digital platform, at decentralized events, in citizens’ forums and plenary sessions. The conference is chaired by the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission. The three institutions have committed to listen to the citizens’ ideas and demands and follow them within their competences. The conference is expected to produce conclusions and guidelines for the future of Europe by spring 2022.
We are convinced that young people play a crucial role in the debate on the future of Europe as they will be the ones most affected by it. It is young people that will contribute to European cohesion and a Europe of openness, solidarity and democracy, and who will engage in civil society. That is why our foundation is participating in the Conference on the Future of Europe with projects that specifically promote the participation of young people. The projects are implemented in two of our programme lines, the European Youth Parliament and the European Educational Network Understanding Europe.
The “Assemblies of Solidarity” are a project directed at students all across Europe. Each assembly consists of an EU-Crash-Course where young people learn about their role as EU citizens and develop and discuss their own priorities for the future of Europe. These ideas will not only be uploaded to the conference’s digital platform, but will also feed into two plenary sessions. There, the ideas and priorities of all 20 Assemblies of Solidarity will be summarized in a strategy paper that will then be presented to the EU institutions.
The project “Young Opinions on the Future of Europe” aims to strengthen young people’s voices and opinions on the future of Europe and to connect them structurally with each one another. Young people will exchange ideas and develop demands at digital and hybrid events, e.g. in Milan, Warsaw, Ljubljana and Nicosia, which will then be presented to decision-makers in Brussels by 20 “Future of Europe Ambassadors” in autumn 2021. More information can be found here.
The Schwarzkopf Foundation joins other civil society organisations in an open letter to the Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe. It calls for the Conference to include marginalised communities. Read the letter and join the call: