Today, the Executive Committee of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) launched the multilingual digital platform inviting citizens to contribute to shaping the (ir) future of Europe. The freshly launched digital tool will allow citizens from across the EU to contribute to the Conference from an active and bottom-up approach. The prerogative of the platform is to enable European citizens – for the first time at a transnational EU level – to put forward their ideas, comment on other people’s ideas, create and participate in events. Available in all 24 EU official languages, the platform also aims to be a tool for information on the conference’s set up and proceedings, which is agreed to kick-start on 9 May, Europe Day.
European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “ We are inviting Europeans to speak up, to address their concerns and tell us what Europe they want to live in. With this citizens’ platform, we are giving everyone the opportunity to contribute to shaping the future of Europe and engage with other people from across Europe. This is a great opportunity to bring Europeans together virtually.”
The platform is supposed to represent the Conference’s central hub, a place where all contributions to the CoFoE process will be brought together and shared, including decentralized events, the European Citizens’ Panels, and Conference Plenaries.
A specialised feedback mechanism will aggregate and analyze key points raised so that they can also be taken into account during the European Citizens’ panels and Conference Plenaries. The platform will also provide information on the Conference’s structure and work, as well as resources for event organizers including a catalog of key events through which they will be able to promote their initiatives at local, regional, national, and European levels. Citizens will easily be able to look up events in which they wish to participate thanks to an events map.
The European Parliament’s Guy Verhofstadt (RE, BE), who co-chairs the Executive Board of the CoFoE, said: “With this platform, we offer the tools to give everyone a chance to get actively engaged in this debate, and we will make sure these ideas feed into the analysis and conclusions of the Conference. It’s their future, so it’s their Conference.”
The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli said: ” The platform is a fundamental tool to allow citizens to participate and have their say on the future of Europe. We must be sure that their voices have a weight and that they have a role in decision-making process, regardless of pandemic Covid-19. European democracy, which is representative and participatory, will continue to operate in spite of everything because our future shared it requires. ”
Culture Action Europe is participating in the conference through the upcoming project, “Amplify: Make the Future of Europe Yours.” Amplify’s main goal is to gather ideas, proposals, recommendations, and concerns specifically about the vision of culture in the future of Europe. By focusing on bringing voices of the cultural community, across 12 European countries, to the CoFoE, the project seeks to provide the opportunity for EU institutions to interface with artists, creatives, cultural organizations that wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to do so. As part of this project, Amplify will launch a Europe-wide campaign, engaging organizations, artists, activists, cultural players, and others to engage directly with the Future EU platform.
Amplify will also organize a Hackathon event next year that will bring together those underrepresented in cultural communities across Europe to continue dialogue regarding the Future of Europe, building bridges between policymakers and those unrepresented communities and proposing visions for a more inclusive, diverse, fair, and democratic future of Europe.
The Executive Board will meet again in two weeks, in order to finalize their discussion on the rules of procedure and to address other prerequisites for the organization of the Conference.