The COVID-19 crisis has shown the importance of solidarity between EU Members States, institutions and citizens. In the light of this experience, we discuss why the Conference on the future of Europe, which has just kicked off, is a new and important step in thinking together about our common European future.
EESC President Christa Schweng sets out the new narrative for Europe that the EESC will be arguing for in its role as observer on the CoFoE executive board and pledges to mobilise the Committee's extensive network across organised civil society to ensure the broadest possible participation.
Guy Verhofstadt, MEP, member of the CoFoE executive board and former Belgian prime minister, who in 2001 proposed the Laeken Declaration, which set in motion the European Convention, also stresses that Europe is at a crossroads - that it's time for Europe to chart its future path together with citizens.
Lorenzo Consoli, EU correspondent and an outstanding expert in European affairs, says that in his 30 years in Brussels, he has never seen the EU engage in such an ambitious pan-European democratic exercise. (dm)