Bringing Europe closer to its people: Democracy and the future of the EU
One of the main priorities of the European Committee of the Regions
(CoR) for the period 2020-2025 is to bring Europe closer to its people, and
reinforce European democracy at all levels of government. It aims to improve
the way the European Union works, ensuring its policies and programmes meet the
real needs of citizens. Over the course of the current five-year mandate, CoR activities
will focus on engaging with regional and local politicians, improving the EU's
democratic architecture, and enhancing citizens' trust in their locally elected
representatives – in a nutshell, bringing the EU closer to people.
Conference on the Future of Europe
On 10 March 2021, David Sassoli,
President of the European Parliament, António Costa,
Prime Minister of Portugal, (President of the Rotating Presidency of the European Council) and Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission signed the Joint Declaration
on the Conference on the Future of Europe
. This paves the way to launch a series of debates and discussions that will enable people from every corner of the European Union to share their ideas to help shape the future of the European Union.
The President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Apostolos Tzitzikostas
, welcomed the Joint Declaration and its reference to the involvement of the regional parliaments and local authorities, as well as to the European Committee of the Regions in the overall process. He announced the organisation of local dialogues directly with citizens
or through regional and local actors on the ground, and confirmed that the CoR will be supported by a “High-Level Group on European Democracy
” under the chairmanship of the former Belgian Prime Minister and President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy
The CoR is committed to contribute to the Conference, and therefore encourages its members, as well as other regional and local politicians (including young elected politicians ( YEPs))
, to engage in this process and listen to citizens' opinions on the future of the EU. They can do so by co-hosting local dialogues with the CoR and invite citizens and civil society actors to discuss their visions and aspirations for the future of the EU. For more information on project proposals and application criteria, please check our guide for organisers
of local events, and fill in the online application form
at least three months prior to the event.
Multilingual digital platform for the Conference
On 19 April 2021, the Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe, comprising representatives from the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, launched the multilingual digital platform for the Conference
, inviting all EU citizens to contribute to shaping their own future and that of Europe as a whole. The platform is available in all official languages of the EU, allowing citizens from across the Union to share and exchange their ideas and views through online events.
The ten topics agreed for the Conference are:
- climate change and the environment;
- a stronger economy, social justice and jobs;
- digital transformation;
- values and rights, rules of law, and security;
- education, culture, youth and sport;
- EU in the world;
- European democracy;
- any other ideas.
Everyone, from all walks of life and from all parts of the EU, is encouraged to contribute to shaping their future via the platform, and also to promote it on social media channels with the hashtag #TheFutureIsYours