EU countries, at the level of ambassadors, concurred the European Council’s position on the plans for the Conference of the Future of Europe on Wednesday (24 June), leading the way for the opening of conversations with the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Nevertheless, EU ambassadors guided clear of dedicating to any possible treaty change, arguing that there is sufficient space for improvement under the existing set-up.
According to the ambassadors, the conference does not fall under Short article 48 of the Treaty on the European Union, which sets the treatments for treaty changes.
” This is extremely delicate for all countries, so it is a compromise, [although] Austria desired a treaty change,” an EU source informed EUobserver.
“EU leaders already agreed the discussion should focus on policies and issues close to people, instead of turning it into a treaty-change exercise,” the source added.
Last month, numerous MEPs from various political celebrations required an “open dialogue with no taboos”, whose result ought to allow structural reforms in the EU, such as legal efforts or treaty changes.
“This broad dialogue with citizens and various other stakeholders will help guide the way ahead, contributing to a joint vision of the direction the EU should take in the next decade and beyond,” the Croatian state secretary for European affairs, Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, stated on Wednesday.
The two-year event, which was at first set up for Europe Day on 9 May was delayed forever due to the coronavirus break out.
While the EU Council required the conference to be released as soon as the epidemiological conditions enable it, the EU parliament just recently stated that it ought to start in early fall – targeting September.
The result of the conference would be shown in a report to the EU Council in 2022.
Furthermore, the EU Council required “an equal role for the three EU institutions and the close association of national parliaments”.
Nevertheless, the Committee of the Regions cautioned previously this year that “without the voice of more than 1 million local and regional elected politicians the conference will not succeed”.
‘Em inent EU character’
Member states desire the conference to be positioned under the authority of “an eminent European personality, selected by the three EU institutions, as its independent and single chair”.
The EU parliament was the first EU organization to set out its concepts in a resolution, with an in-depth intend on the structure of the conference, including people, civil society, and other stakeholders at the national, local, and regional level.
The centre-right European People’s Party chairman Manfred Weber and the liberal Renew MEP Person Verhofstadt were proposed as leaders of the procedure, which had actually been referred to as a “bottom-up” event.
On The Other Hand, the EU commission is establishing digital platforms that would allow engagement with people all throughout Europe till in person conferences are possible once again.