Unemployment, social justice, sport, digital transformation. The European Parliament is advancing its objective of opening the main issues of interest to the region to public debate through the Conference on the Future of Europe, a platform where European citizens can present their opinions alongside MEPs and other institutions.
In recent days, the meeting has gained strength with different debate sessions that were preceded by various events to encourage citizens to participate in them. In Madrid, the MEPs Alicia Homs (PSOE), Maite Pagazaurtundua (Cs) and María Eugenia Rodríguez (Vamos) were in charge of collecting on the Gran Vía the opinions of citizens about the Europe they want, with the idea of presenting them in the Conference that has been taking place since last May and whose work will culminate in the spring of 2022.
Under the motto ‘The future is in your hands’, the event organized by the Office of the European Parliament and the Representation of the European Commission in Spain generated enormous interest, also from a visual point of view with the installation in the central Madrid street , at the foot of the Metropolis building, of the letters of ‘Europe’ composed of plants that the MEPs distributed to the citizens while they deposited their proposals in the ballot boxes.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is made up of a digital platform, four panels of 200 European citizens chosen at random, and the plenary session, made up of 108 MEPs and other institutions who will debate the recommendations of the panels and the platform.
The first sessions already began this weekend and will be active until October 17 at the European Parliament headquarters in Strasbourg. The second sessions will take place in November and the third, between December and January in different cities in the EU.
With this backdrop, the event held in Madrid allowed the three MEPs to encourage citizens, especially the youngest, to participate in the meeting by expressing their ideas through the platform.
This has already been done by the winners of the Salvador de Madariaga European Journalism Award, organized by the European Parliament Office in Spain and the Association of European Journalists (APE), who have also sent the requests and opinions of Spanish journalists through a manifesto that has already been delivered to the MEPs.
During the meeting, Podemos MEP María Eugenia Rodríguez highlighted the need to “listen to people” to achieve a more egalitarian and sustainable Europe.
Along the same lines, the socialist Alicia Homs spoke out, highlighting that young people must fight for their ideas and their leadership capacity.
The European Parliament recalls that the panels whose first sessions have already begun are divided into various subjects. The first will debate how to achieve a stronger economy, social justice and employment, in addition to addressing issues related to education, culture, youth and sport in Europe. They will also address issues of digital transformation
The second panel, which takes place in parallel, will host the debate on European democracy, values and rights, rule of law and security. The third will focus on climate change, environment and health, while the fourth panel will address the EU’s position in the world and other issues related to migration.
Panel members may propose other topics for discussion. The panels will have independent experts available to give advice.