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Strengthening European democracy: Views on the Conference on the Future of Europe from Citizens' Panels and Herman Van Rompuy #CoRplenary  

​​Also on #CoRplenary agenda: Commissioner Schmit on homelessness; Council of Europe leader on the fight against disinformation; young politicians on the European Year of Youth

The chairman of the CoR's High-Level Group on European Democracy – Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the European Council – will lead a debate on 1 December on strengthening European democracy in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Mr Van Rompuy will be joined by: representatives of European Citizens’ Panels that have considered methods of democratic practices in the European Union, Renaud Muselier, President of the South Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Deputy President of the Regions of France, and a representative of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU.

Follow the plenary on the CoR website

1 December: Debate on Strengthening European Democracy in the Context of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The debate on how to strengthen European Democracy with Herman Van Rompuy and Renaud Muselier will pave the way to the  broader reflection on the future institutional architecture of the EU that will take place at the next European Summit of Regions and Cities, which is being co-organised by the CoR and the South Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and will be held in Marseille on 3-4 March 2022.

2 December: Eradicating Homelessness

The European Committee of the Regions will welcome Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, to its plenary. Commissioner Schmit will be joined by Kjell Larsson, President of the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), in taking stock of the homelessness in the EU and policy responses across the EU.

EU Member States have primary responsibility and competence to address homelessness, which includes situations in which people are living in temporary, insecure or poor-quality housing. The EU's Social Investment Package encourages national governments to adopt integrated strategies at the national, regional and local level to address homelessness and to adopt policies to prevent evictions. In June 2021, European institutions, EU governments and civil society launched the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness and made adopted the Lisbon Declaration.

2 December: European Year of Youth

A month before the start of the European Year of Youth, the leader of the European Youth Forum and leaders of the youth wings of leading European political groups will set their hopes and expectations in a debate with the 329 members of European Committee of the Regions. They are: Silja Markkula, President of the European Youth Forum; MEP Alicia Homs Ginel (ES/ S&D), President of the Young European Socialists; Ines Holzegger, Member of the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC); Eleanor Morrissey, Co-Spokesperson of the Federation of Young European Greens; Valentina Servera Clavell, President of the European Free Alliance Youth; and Fabio Roscani, Vice-Chair of the European Young Conservatives (EYC). They will be joined by Vytautas Grubliauskas (LT/RE), mayor of Klaipėda, and Sandra Schneeloch (DE/Greens), member of Cologne City Council and member of the CoR's Young Elected Politicians programme.

2 December: Fight against Disinformation

Leendert Verbeek, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, will lead a debate with members of the CoR on current challenges posed by disinformation and possible responses by local and regional authorities. The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, is the leading continent's leading human-rights organisation, a mission that it pursues at the level of regional and local government through the Congress.


Wednesday, 1 December, 2.30-4 p.m: Debate on Strengthening European Democracy in the Context of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Wednesday, 1 December, 4-5 p.m: Statement by a Representative of the Forthcoming French Presidency (Tbc)

Thursday, 2 December, 9.20-10.20 a.m: Debate on Eradicating Homelessness in the European Union.

Thursday, 2 December, 10.30-12 a.m: Debate on the 2022 European Year of Youth.

Thursday, 2 December, 4-5 p.m: Debate on the Fight against Disinformation to Ensure a Functioning and Resilient Democracy at all Levels.


On the 2022 work programme of the European Commission and the CoR political priorities for 2022.

On the proposal for a European Year of Youth.


Better RegulationRapporteur: Piero Mauro Zanin (IT/EPP), President of the Regional Council of Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. Rapporteur: Birgitta Sacrédeus (SE/EPP), member of Dalarna Regional Council.

The implementation of the Recovery and Resilience FacilityRapporteur: Rob Jonkman (NL/ECR), alderman of the municipality of Opsterland.

European Approach to Artificial Intelligence - Artificial Intelligence ActRapporteur: Guido Rink (NL/PES), alderman of the municipality of Emmen.

Eradicating homelessness in the European Union: The local and regional perspective. Rapporteur: Mikko Aaltonen (FI/PES), member of Tampere City Council.

EU action plan for organic farming. Rapporteur: Uroš Brežan (SI/Greens), mayor of Tolmin.

Sustainable blue economy and aquaculture. Rapporteur: Bronius Markauskas (LT/EA), mayor of Klaipėda.

Updating the new Industrial Strategy for EuropeRapporteur: Jeannette Baljeu (NL/RE), regional minister of the Province of South Holland.

European Commission Report on Competition Policy in 2020Rapporteur: Tadeusz Truskolaski (PL/EA), mayor of Białystok.

The gender dimension of structural and cohesion funds 2021-2027, with a focus on the preparation of the operational programmesRapporteur: Donatella Porzi (IT/PES), regional councillor for the Region of Umbria.


Practical information:

Location: Hybrid – virtual and Charlemagne building, European Commission, rue de la Loi 170, Brussels, Belgium.

Date: Wednesday, 1 December – Thursday, 2 December 2021.

Background material: The plenary agenda, and opinions and amendments.

Webstreaming: On the website of the CoR.​


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