EM Germany Newsletter CW 19/2021 | Official #CoFoE kick-off
„It should be well prepared with a clear scope and clear objectives“, Ursula von der Leyen said when she promised the Conference on the Future of Europe in 2019 in front of the European Parliament. The debate on the future of Europe began yesterday with a festive opening event, but contrary to the Commission President’s words, the preparation was bumpy and contested.
I therefore welcome the last-minute agreement of the Executive Board on the central issues concerning the role of the Conference plenary and its composition.
For EM Germany it is important that representative and democratically elected institutions are the key actors of the Conference on the Future of Europe. It is therefore right that parliamentary forces now make up almost half of the plenary membership and that the role of the plenary has been strengthened in the decision-making of the Conference. However, we also need a clear purpose and finality, a transparent process and a realistic – viz. at least two-year- timetable for the dialogue. Only then the CoFoE will be more than just another listening exercise and become an open and result-oriented dialogue that initiates important EU reforms.
As a European network, we will actively support the dialogue and invite our members to participate in this competition of ideas with their own initiatives and events via the digital platform. Although the start was bumpy, the democratic wrangling also showed that the Conference on the Future of Europe is actually important to the EU institutions. We should therefore accept the invitation and help shaping the dialogue with all our’s strength.
I wish you a wonderful week – and stay healthy!
Dr Linn Selle
European Movement Germany
#EBDFokus: Official CoFoE kick-off
Yesterday marked the official opening of the Conference on the Future of Europe (#CoFoE). At almost the last minute, the Executive Committee was able to agree on the contentious issues of the composition and role of the Plenary, the central institution of the CoFoE. The Plenary will be composed of 433 delegates, including 108 members each from the European Parliament and the national parliaments. The final report will be prepared by the Executive Committee based on proposals from the plenary and „in close cooperation and full transparency with the plenary, which will then be published on the multilingual digital platform“, explains the agreement on the Rules of Procedure of the CoFoE. An updated #EBDgrafik provides an overview of the structure of the conference. +++ EM Germany President Dr. Linn Selle welcomed the CoFoE kick-off and pleaded for „a results-oriented dialogue that is conducted openly without taboos and initiates tangible reforms“. The value rifts in the rule of law, negotiation blockades in migration policy and structural problems in crisis management show that the EU is not sufficiently prepared for the current challenges. +++ The online platform for the conference was already published at the end of April. It functions as an information, dialogue and event hub. The role of the online platform and the representative actors for the success of the CoFoE was the focus of the online briefing organised by EM Germany together with the Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement (National Network for Civil Society), the Liaison Office of the European Parliament in Germany and the Representation of the European Commission in Germany on 6 May as an outlook to the CoFoE. +++ The international exchange on the future of Europe is already in full swing, as shown for example by an online briefing of EM Spain, in which EM Germany board member Lina Furch participated last week. Furch stressed that a representative participation of parliaments and societal forces is a key criterion in the conference implementation. The role of societal forces in the CoFoE was also the topic of the workshop of the Federal Working Group on Europe of Bündnis90/Die Grünen, in which Linn Selle participated on 1 May. The CoFoE was also the focus of the online event #euvernetzt of the CDU/CSU group in the EPP parliamentary group in the EP. In her impulse, Selle underlined the urgent need for institutional reforms to strengthen democracy as a conference goal. +++ „The European Union is bigger than France and Germany. But if the governments in Paris and Berlin agree, then great European reforms are possible“, – also and especially for the CoFoE. This was emphasised by the Chairpersons of EM France and Germany, Yves Bertoncini and Linn Selle, on the occasion of the launch of the CoFoE on Europe Day in a joint video message. +++
#EBDGrafik of the week
EM Germany News
Networking young people, beyond Germany and France | Franco-German Youth Office joins EM network : The socio-political relations between France and Germany play a decisive role in European integration. EM Germany therefore expressly welcomes the accession of the Franco-German Youth Office (DFJW) to its network. Parallel to joining EM Germany, the DFJW also joined EM France. | More (in German)
Making better use of opportunities for German-Italian cooperation | EBD Public Diplomacy Exklusiv Italy: In order to strengthen the exchange on European policy between the social forces in Germany and Italy, EM Germany organised an online event on 7 May as part of the EBD Public Diplomacy Exklusiv series. Together with EM Italy (MEI), representatives of EM Germany member organisations in Italy and the German Ambassador in Rome, Viktor Elbling, an exchange took place on possibilities for closer cooperation in the future. | More (in German)
70 years of Germany as a full member of the Council of Europe: To mark the 70th anniversary of Germany’s full membership of the Council of Europe, the Federal Foreign Office and EM Germany hosted an online commemorative event with high-ranking guests from politics and society on May 4. | More (in German) +++ The recording of the event can be found here.
Online stakeholder event on the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan: In preparation of the Social Summit in Porto, the implementation of the Action Plan in Germany and the role of the social partners in this process were discussed at an online event organized by the European Commission Representation in Germany in cooperation with EM Germany on 29 April. | More (in German)
All EM Germany events take place via videoconference. Participation is free, but registration required. Conference language is German unless indicated otherwise. +++ 19.05.2021: EBD De-Briefing ECOFIN und Euro-Group +++ 31.05.2021: EBD De-Briefing COMPET +++ 08.06.2021: EBD De-Briefing TTE +++ 09.06.2021: EBD De-Briefing Justice and Home Affairs +++ 11.06.2021: EM Germany Board Meeting +++ Our Presidency Calendar on the Portuguese EU Council Presidency has all dates of the semester.
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