On 10 March 2021, the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission signed the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe, paving the way for a first ever exercise of participatory democracy of this scale at the level of the European Union. This joint undertaking of the three EU Institutions, together with the Member States, aimed at opening a new space for debate with citizens, to address Europe’s challenges and priorities. In the Joint Declaration, the three institutions committed to listen to European citizens and to give them a say on what matters to them, through a citizen-led series of debates and deliberations. The three institutions also committed to examine swiftly how to give an effective follow-up to the proposals made by the Conference.
Placed under the authority of the Presidents of the three Institutions, acting as its joint Presidency, the Conference submitted its final report to the three Presidents on 9 May 2022, after more than a year of intensive deliberations. Honouring the commitment made in the Joint Declaration, the three institutions started working immediately on the follow-up. This work is still ongoing.
The aim of this article is to give an overview of this journey from an insider’s perspective, referring in particular to the work carried out by the Council and its representatives throughout the Conference and its follow-up until now.
This article is a collective endeavour of the six members of the Common Secretariat of the Conference coming from the General Secretariat of the Council: Marta Arpio, Liis Jaansalu, Rebecca Rhlalou, Matteo Riceputi, Miroslav Stoyanov and Marie-Charlotte van Lamsweerde. The Common Secretariat of the Conference was composed of an equal member of officials from the European Parliament, Council of the EU and Commission. The authors wrote this article in their personal capacity as members of the Common Secretariat of the Conference and they do not intend to represent the views of the Common Secretariat as a whole. Views expressed in this article are their own and in no way reflect the views of the Council or the European Council, nor the General Secretariat of the Council.