Conference on the Future of Europe: EFA’s Priorities
Following the Joint Declaration on the Conference of the Future of Europe, EFA requested a meeting at the earliest opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to playing a positive role in the Conference and achieving a better European Union in the interests of all its nations and peoples.
Today, 17 March, EFA met with Matta de’ Grassi, Ivo Belet, and Colin Scicluna, representatives of Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission Dubravka Šuica’s cabinet. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE). Representing EFA was Lorena Lopez de Lacalle, EFA President, Jordi Solé, EFA MEP, and Jill Evans, EFA Bureau Member.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is welcomed by the European Free Alliance (EFA) as an opportunity to create a more resilient, democratic, and fairer Europe for all Peoples, and a chance to collectively reimagine the future.
The Conference must be both comprehensive and citizen-led to have a real impact. The process should be inclusive, engaging a broad range of voices from the local to the transnational.
Fundamental rights and diversity are the foundations of both the EU and of EFA, and should be guaranteed not only on an EU level, but by all its members.
To achieve this, EFA presented five main priorities to Commission Šuica’s cabinet:
- A Europe of Democracy
Full and proper treaties must be in place for regions that seek self-determination. The ability for people to choose their own future must be respected. A framework must be created to solve possible conflicts in relation to self-determination and sovereignty, enabling the EU to play a constructive and mediatory role. A mechanism must be created for internal enlargement of the EU, whereby newly independent states within the EU territory retain EU membership. Additionally, a fast-track procedure for new states formerly covered by EU membership must also be explored.
- A Europe of Subsidiarity
Regional and devolved parliaments are much closer to the people they serve, and are best placed to see how policy has an impact on the ground. The Conference must urgently establish a methodology for consulting with sub-state governments and parliaments.
- A truly Multilingual Union
The EU must not only respect the existing protections in the Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 21 and 22), but strengthen the promotion, use, and teaching of all European languages.
- A Representative and Equal Union
Without the true and equal participation of women in politics, there can be no real democracy. Decisive action to ensure gender parity must be taken now. Gender-responsive budgeting must be integrated into all EU policy.
- A Voice for All Peoples
EFA believes that all people are equal in their diversity and deserve a voice in decision-making processes. EFA proposes a network of European Citizen’s Assemblies, that would maximise participation in the CoFoE. The final declaration of the Conference should also be subject to discussion by a Europe-wide Citizen’s Assembly.
At the meeting, Mr. Scicluna reaffirmed their commitment to the contribution of grassroots members as part of the Conference. EFA looks forward to providing fruitful discussions and contributions, including the creation of an EFA Citizen’s Assembly.
Please contribute your own priorities to us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas, priorities, and wishes for the CoFoE.