MEPs today agreed an inclusive, participatory and bottom-up approach for the Conference on the Future of Europe. This week the European Parliament has set out its vision on how to organise debates which will last 2 years and kick off on the 70thanniversary of the Schuman declaration on 9 May 2020. S&Ds call on all EU institutions to involve all citizens in the debate on the future of Europe.

“The Conference on the Future of Europe is a unique opportunity to make sure the EU is fit to face the future. We are not here to build a market, but a community. We have focused too much on economic aspects and neglected the social dimension. The EU is about ensuring peace and improving people’s life. The Socialists and Democrats want the conference to be about real, inclusive dialogue with concrete results. Everyone has something to contribute, and everyone should be able to have their say, no matter where they are. I hope it will open up spaces to enrich the debate and find fresh and innovative ideas that improve our Union,” said S&D Group leader Iratxe García.

“We want to put citizens at the heart of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Therefore we have promoted the idea of citizens’ agoras, as bodies representative of our diverse European society, to enter into a meaningful dialogue with citizens across Europe. The S&D Group also strongly pushed for dedicated youth agoras so that the very people whose future we are talking about have a key role to play. With a bottom-up approach and the European Parliament leading the way, we can start a new way of  engaging with citizens with the aim of a more democratic  social Europe with a stronger capability to act. If we dare to leave our comfort zone, the Conference on the future of Europe can be a meaningful exercise,” added Gabriele Bischoff, S&D member on the Working Group on the Conference on the Future of Europe.