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EESC and the Conference on the Future of Europe - Christa Schweng, President of the EESC

The success of the Conference will depend on whether we will be able to sketch a new narrative for Europe and to convince people to engage in shaping their future.
EESC and the Conference on the Future of Europe

The conference is a chance not only to engage in a broad debate on how the EU should evolve but also to bring the ownership of the European project back to its citizens- at national, regional and local level.

We need to rediscover and renew a much-needed sense of community, based on shared values.

It's time to push for a real restart.
We must engage with all Europeans and make them understand how important the European project is and how it touches our daily life.

How is the EESC contributing to the Conference?
We have recently launched a forum that serves as a brainstorming opportunity for the upcoming citizens' consultations that the EESC is organising in view of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Starting from September 2021 this broad series of national consultations will take place in each Member State.
We will then gather the findings and share them for further follow-up by the Commission, Council and the Parliament.

What should be done to make the Conference a success?
First of all, we need bottom-up engagement, with civil society in the driving seat.
Secondly, we need to reach out beyond the Brussels bubble and adapt our language to the average European.
Thirdly, the progress of the conference must be somehow measurable.
People must see that their ideas turned into actions.

What positive change do you hope the pandemic will bring to Europe?
Focusing on long-lasting change is what the EU is doing, making an effort to rebuild the European economy.
Post-COVID-19 Europe will be greener and more digital.
By focusing on sustainability and digitalisation –  while leaving no one behind – we prepare for the future.