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Future of Europe: final round of European Citizens' Panels begins this weekend in Florence, Italy

Met dank overgenomen van Sloveens voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2021, gepubliceerd op donderdag 9 december 2021.

Future of Europe: final round of European Citizens' Panels begins this weekend in Florence, Italy

The work of the European Citizens' Panels is moving on to the next stage. On 10-12 December, some 200 European citizens from all Member States, of different ages and backgrounds, will meet for the third time, to draft their recommendations for the future of Europe in the fields of "European democracy /values, rights, rule of law, security".

The third session of this European Citizens' Panel will take place in Florence, Italy, on the premises of the European University Institute. It will be held in hybrid format, combining an in-person meeting - in full compliance with the relevant health measures - with an opportunity for citizens to connect remotely. The participants will build on the work accomplished in the previous two sessions - an in-person session in Strasbourg on 24-26 September and an online session on 12-14 November - to intensify their discussions, and to prepare and endorse their recommendations.

The decision to organise the panel session in Florence in hybrid format was taken by the Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe on 4 December, taking into account the health regulations in force in Italy and following consultations with the European University Institute. Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation in several Member States, and following the postponement of the European Citizens' Panel 1 in Dublin due to health regulations, the Executive Board decided to postpone the Conference Plenary meeting of 17‑18 December. The next Plenary is scheduled to take place in January.

"I am very pleased that the panel session in Florence can go ahead, while ensuring full compliance with the applicable rules and giving all citizens an opportunity to participate, either physically or remotely. As the Council Presidency, we are also pleased that citizens remain at the heart of the conference, and I look forward to the first 200 putting forward their recommendations for the future of Europe in important areas of democracy, values and rule of law. This means that the conference is on course to deliver on the citizens' expectations, while striving to ensure their full and safe participation." - Gašper Dovžan, Slovenian State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-Chair of the Executive Board.

The European Citizens' Panels are a citizen-led process and constitute a cornerstone of the Conference on the Future of Europe. All four Panels have each held two sessions so far. 80 representatives of the Panels - of which at least one-third are aged between 16 and 25 years - participate in the Conference Plenary, where they will present the outcomes of their respective Panel discussions, and discuss them with Members of the European Parliament, government representatives, European Commissioners, national parliamentarians and other Plenary members, including representatives of EU advisory bodies and civil society.

In parallel, all Europeans can share their ideas on how to shape the EU's future on the Multilingual Digital Platform. The next report on contributions on the platform will be published on 9 December, ahead of the last round of the deliberations of the European Citizens' Panels. It will be available on the digital platform, together with the report on contributions for each Member State.

For media:

A technical briefing for journalists will take place at the premises of the European University Institute in Florence (Teatro room, Baida Fiesolana building), on Friday 10 December at 14:45 CET, with remote participation. The briefing will be in English and French, without interpretation. For more information and the link to participate remotely, send an email to [email protected]

Watch: The meetings of all panellists in plenary format - on Friday morning and Sunday morning - will be livestreamed on the digital platform.

Attend: Journalists who wish to attend in person must register using the following link.

Press contacts

Damijan Fišer

Coreper II Spokesperson

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