Conference on the Future of Europe: European Democracy

Written by Lena Hirschenberger.

The Conference on the Future of Europe’s aim is to debate how the EU should develop in the future and to give European citizens a voice in the process, announced Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her inaugural address.

People’s ideas will be collected on the Digital Platform, in European Citizens’ Panels and de-centralised conference events all over Europe. The Conference Plenary – comprised of representatives of the Citizens’ Panels, the Parliament, the Council, the Commission, national parliaments, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, social partners and the European Youth Forum – will then discuss the ideas put forward. Launched in April 2021, the conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance for the European institutions to follow up, by spring 2022.

The conference topics are divided into nine areas, with one additional ‘open’ area, reserved for out-of-the-box ideas. The topics are: ‘Climate change and the environment‘, ‘Health‘, ‘A stronger economy, social justice and jobs‘, ‘European Union in the world‘, ‘Values and rights, rule of law, security‘, ‘Digital transformation‘, ‘European democracy‘, ‘Migration‘, ‘Education, culture, youth and sport‘, and ‘Other ideas‘.

Discussion on ‘European Democracy’ will include topics such as ‘How can we strengthen the voices of European citizens in policy-making?’, ‘How can we fight extremism, disinformation and the perceived distance between people and their elected representatives?’, ‘What should the role of media be in this?’, and ‘How can we strengthen our European democracy in general?’

To support the proceedings of the conference, our EPRS policy analysts have prepared research material, available here in reverse chronological order. The following list will continually be updated as the conference unfolds:

Conference on the Future of Europe – EPRS Ideas Papers
Topical Digest by Silvia Kontanidis, May 2021, 5 pages.

Conference on the Future of Europe
Topical Digest by Silvia Kontanidis, May 2021, 4 pages.

Conference on the Future of Europe
Briefing by Silvia Kontanidis, May 2021, 12 pages.

Transnational electoral lists
Study by Maria Diaz Crego, February 2021, 62 pages.

The practice of democracy
Study by Gianluca Sgueo, June 2020, 64 pages.

Parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners-designate: An analysis of the portfolios of the von der Leyen Commission
Briefing by several EPRS authors, November 2019, 140 pages.

Parliament’s committees of inquiry and special committees
In-Depth Analysis by Eva-Maria Alexandrova Poptcheva, June 2016, 22 pages.
Available in German, English and French

The six policy priorities of the von der Leyen Commission: State of play in spring 2021
In-Depth Analysis by Etienne Bassot, May 2021, 22 pages.

The European Parliament’s appointing powers
Briefing by Micaela Del Monte, May 2021, 14 pages.

Understanding trilogue: Informal tripartite meetings to reach provisional agreement on legislative files
Briefing by Micaela Del Monte, May 2021, 12 pages.

Understanding the European Commission’s right to withdraw legislative proposals
Briefing by Silvia Kontanidis, March 2021, 12 pages.

Reform of the Comitology Regulation
Briefing by Rafal Manko, March 2021, 12 pages.

Passerelle clauses in the EU Treaties: Opportunities for more flexible supranational decision-making
Study by Silvia Kontanidis, December 2020, 80 pages.
Available in German, English and French

Unlocking the potential of the EU Treaties: An article-by-article analysis of the scope for action
Study by Etienne Bassot, May 2020, 140 pages.
Available in German, English and French

Parliament’s right of legislative initiative
Briefing by Silvia Kontanidis, February 2020, 12 pages.

Policy Podcast on Parliament’s right of legislative initiative

Rules on political groups in the EP
Briefing by Laura Tilindyte-Humburg, June 2019, 7 pages.
Available in Spanish, German, English, French, Italian, Polish

2019 European elections: National rules
Infographic ‘At a Glance’ note by Alina Dobreva, Giulio Sabbati and Gianluca Sgueo, April 2019, 2 pages
Available in German, English and French

Understanding the d’Hondt method: Allocation of parliamentary seats and leadership positions
Briefing by Silvia Kontanidis, June 2019, 8 pages

Understanding the d’Hondt method – EPRS policy podcast

Implementation of the Treaty provisions concerning enhanced cooperation
Study by Ivana Diendl Kristo, December 2018, 84 pages.

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