Civil Society Europe held a high level panel on the Conference on the Future of Europe and civil society participation at its Extraordinary General Assembly last Tuesday. The main EP stakeholders who worked for the preparation and adoption of the European parliament resolution, Ms Gabriele Bischoff, Mr Guy Verhofstadt, Mr Paulo Rangel, Mr Daniel Freund and Mr Helmut Scholtz had a lively and intense debate with civil society organisations. European networks representing concerns of millions of citizens on key areas of actions such as social policies, the environment, youth, volunteering, governance and transparency, persons with disabilities, education and culture expressed their commitment to engaging in the conference while demanding a clear space for participation.
All members of the European parliament highlighted the crucial importance of the conference in rebuilding citizen’s trust, reponding to societal challenges, tackling climate change and esnsuring a stronger place for the EU in the world. They stressed the need for a participatory and open process with the full involvement of civil society.
CSE members called for meaningful participation in whole stages of the process including in the plenary of the conference to be reflected in the joint posiiton with the European Commission and the Council of the EU. They also stressed that the Conference should also reflect on how to reshape the European Union and its institutions to ensure a real dialogue with civil society and citizens at all levels.