EM Germany Newsletter CW 10/2021 | CoFoE gets the go-ahead
The negotiation process was arduous and revolved many times around personnel issues, but the European institutions have finally agreed on a joint declaration regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE).
Under the heading „A new push for European democracy“, Ursula von der Leyen had promised a major debate on the future of the European Union in 2019 and had shown herself open to fundamental reforms, including treaty changes.
The sudden Covid-19 outbreak initially prevented the conference’s kick-off last year. But in 2020 the border closure chaos at the beginning of the pandemic, the lack of EU competence in the public health sector, the ongoing migration debacle at the borders of Europe and the veto blockades in foreign policy again revealed that an open analysis of the EU is more necessary than ever in order to make the community project crisis-proof and capable of taking action.
It is good to see that many of EM Germany’s proposals, such as representative citizen participation and key parliamentary involvement, have found their way into the mandate of the CoFoE. However, the tight timetable, which already foresees a conclusion in spring 2022, remains a major negative point. Adjustments must therefore be made so that the dialogue on the future does not end up as a (digital) PR show. The vague wording in the mandate leaves room for an extension by the Executive Board.
The conference will only have impact as a multi-year kick-off process geared towards the European elections of 2024. As a network of social forces, we should therefore help shape the dialogue on the future through our own impulses on a federal and regional level and then spread it more widely, campaign for an extension until at least 2023 and then persuade the parties to take a clear stand on the results of the conference. Only then can the conference promote „a new push for European democracy“ and become the thematic basis for the European elections, in which the directional decision on the future of Europe will be put to the vote through the democratic process.
I wish you a good week, and stay healthy!
Dr. Linn Selle
European Movement Germany
#EBDFokus: #CoFoE gets the go-ahead
After the Council approved the joint declaration on the CoFoE last Wednesday, the European Parliament also gave its green light a day later. „A great opportunity to work for a new Europe together with citizens“, said EP President David Sassoli, commenting on the kick-off of CoFoE. The next step is the signing of the declaration by the heads of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission. EM Germany President Selle welcomed the agreement and pleaded for binding conference results. +++ In consonance with EM Germany’s policies, CoFoE should put the spotlight on the convention actors according to Article 48 TEU, i.e. the EU institutions and the national parliaments. It should also enable a representative citizen participation, be transparent throughout its process and lead to binding results that do not exclude treaty amendments. Two updated #EBDGrafiks provide an overview of the negotiation results as well as the chronology and positions of the different EU institutions. EM Germany Secretary-General Bernd Hüttemann also commented on the implementation of the joint declaration in a Twitter thread. +++ You can find an evaluation from the European umbrella organisation European Movement International (EMI) here. +++ Even before the agreement, CoFoE was a topic at EM Germany’s regional committee meeting at the end of February. EM Germany and the different regional European Movements agreed that CoFoE offers an opportunity for regional European communication. More (in German) +++ Current news and opinions on CoFoE from the EM Germany members can be found on EM Germany’s website. +++
#EBDGrafik of the week
EM Germany News
After (too) long a wait the EU institutions finally agreed on a mandate for the #CoFoE: EM Germany President Selle comments on joint declaration. | More (in German)
Targeting economy and research with recovery and resilience plans | EBD De-Briefing COMPET: The interplay of economic and research development plays a central role in Europe’s economic recovery plans after the Corona crisis. Thus, there were some overlapping points between the agendas of the economic and research parts of the Competitiveness Council in February. The results of both meetings were discussed during the EBD De-Briefing COMPET. | More (in German)
For a stronger involment of small member states in the shaping of Europe | Bernd Hüttemann as guest in EM Finland’s Podcast: Smaller member states should receive more attention – in German European policy as well as when it comes to dealing with Russia. EM Germany Secretary-General Bernd Hüttemann discussed this issue in the Podcast Euroopan Suunta. | More (in German)
The EU’s ability to act does not depend on the number of member states: EM Germany President Selle took part in a digital panel discussion on 28 February, which was organised by the Heinrich Böll Foundation Bremen. | More (in German)
First meeting of EM Germany’s Board in 2021: Expectations, first strategic ideas and the timetable for the prioritisation of European policy in election year 2021 were the main topics of discussion during the first meeting of EM Germany’s Board in 2021. | More (in German)
All EM Germany events take place via videoconference. Participation is free, but registration required. Conference language is German unless indicated otherwise. +++ 11.03.2021: EBD Public Diplomacy Exklusive Serbia +++ 12.03.2021: EBD De-Briefing ECB +++ 16.03.2021: EBD De-Briefing Justice and Home Affairs +++ 17.03.2021: EBD De-Briefing ECOFIN and Eurogroup +++ 18.03.2021: EBD De-Briefing EPSCO +++ 19.03.2021: EBD De-Briefing ENVI +++ 22.03.2021: EP-Rapporteur in dialogue: Dennis Radtke MEP +++ 29.03.2021: EBD De-Briefing European Council +++ Our Presidency Calendar on the Portuguese EU Council Presidency has all dates of the semester.
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