Conference on the Future of Europe – another victim of the COVID-19?
EUROPEUM's associate research fellow Zuzana Stuchlíková describes the impact of COVID-19 on the Conference on the Future of Europe in her EU Monitor.
The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is one of the flagship projects of Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission, introduced the aftermath of the 2019 EP election and aimed at connecting citizens with various EU stakeholders and empowering them in the European project. However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it and preparations are restarting only now. A closer look shows that one year into the project, it lacks a clear vision. Key questions remain unanswered – what will be the format? Who will lead the negotiations? What should be the role of European institutions? And is the question of a treaty change completely off the table?
The EU needs to open the essential questions and continue the dialogue on the future of Europe, despite the ongoing obstacles in the form of a global pandemic. However, only with a deep consensus on what the stated objectives of the conference is, how do they are achivable, how it is financed and how it is ensured that the implementation of the conclusions of it can be implemented can it mature from an ambitious idea to a viable project. It is essential that the CoFoE’s launch is not rushed at the expense of readiness - good will on its own is not enough and a rushed start could lead to a PR disaster that could further hamper European citizens’ trust in the EU institutions.
You can read the entire EU Monitor using the PDF button on the right side of this article.