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National Citizens’ Panel on the future of Europe in Berlin

National Citizens’ Panel on the future of Europe in Berlin

National Citizens’ Panel on the future of Europe in Berlin, © Thomas Trutschel/photothek.de

14.01.2022 - Article

What should the future of the European Union look like? What kind of Europe do we want to live in?

The Federal Foreign Office is organising a National Citizens’ Panel in January 2022. The Panel will be an opportunity for citizens to actively contribute their own ideas on the future of Europe. How can the EU safeguard its common democratic values and strengthen the rule of law? How can it succeed in the transition to a sustainable and digitalised economy and society? What role should the EU play in the world?

We want to make a national contribution to making Europe fit for the future through a competition of ideas. The aim of the National Citizens’ Panel is to develop collaborative recommendations for action and thus make a tangible contribution to the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe. During her first official visits on 9 December 2021, Foreign Minister Baerbock said:

In particular, the Conference on the Future of Europe will be a major milestone for our European Union. We will do everything we can to help ensure that the results of the Conference do not end up in a drawer somewhere, but have an impact in reality.

A total of 100 citizens, selected at random yet representative of society, are participating in the virtual National Citizens’ Panel. As a first step, five online launch workshops took place on 5 and 8 January 2022, each with 20 participants and looking at the five areas of the Conference on the Future of Europe: Europe’s role in the world, climate and environment, rule of law and values, a stronger economy and social justice. The citizens formulated their visions for Europe in 2035 in these five areas and set out concrete focuses for further in‑depth discussion.

Speaking about these focal areas in Brussels back in December, Minister of State for Europe Lührmann stressed:

We are committed to getting truly ambitious results quickly next year with the Conference on the Future of Europe – because we in Europe need to become more united, because we need to tackle issues like the rule of law and democracy together.

On 15 and 16 January 2022, all 100 participants will meet for a two‑day online conference to discuss challenges and possible solutions and draw up recommendations for political action. The results will be presented at a final online conference attended by Foreign Minister Baerbock and Minister of State for Europe and Climate Lührmann on 16 January from 11.45 am till 1.00 pm.

Then, on 21/22 January, these results will be presented at the main Plenary by Stephanie Hartung of Pulse of Europe, national citizens’ representative at the Conference on the Future of Europe, and discussed with the 433 representatives from all 27 Member States.

The National Citizens’ Panel is being organised by the Federal Foreign Office with the support of ifok GmbH.

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