EU Citizens Called On to Debate on Future of EU “at 27”
On 9 May 2018, Europe Day, the European Commission launched an online public consultation on the future of Europe. The consultation includes 12 questions for all European citizens to utter their views on the direction the EU should take in the future. The online survey was prepared by a so-called “Citizens’ Panel” of 96 Europeans, which convened on 5-6 May 2018. The questions also include “justice” topics, such as security and migration. The online survey is available in all official EU languages.
The online public consultation aims at completing the ongoing debate on the future of the Union “at 27” − after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The debate was initiated by the Commission’s White Paper of 1 March 2017 (see eucrim 1/2017, p. 5) and Commission President Juncker’s “Catching the wind in our sails” speech of 13 September 2017. The new debate on how the EU should be shaped after the UK’s Brexit has already triggered reactions from several governments of the EU Member States (see eucrim 1/2017, pp. 3-6).
Nonetheless, the EU is trying to involve the European citizens in the debate as much as possible. Hence, the online public consultation is also part of the wider so-called “Citizens’ Dialogues” that started in 2012 with town hall meetings. Within the framework of the discussion on the future of the EU, the Commission plans to intensify the dialogues up to the European Parliament’s elections in May 2019. Some Member States, such as Ireland, Sweden, and Bulgaria, have already organized citizens’ dialogues in different formats between their leaders and their citizens, at the same time taking up the ideas of French President Macron on “Democratic Conventions on the Future of Europe”.
The online public consultation runs until 9 May 2019. An interim report on the White Paper process is planned for the December 2018 summit of the European Council. A final report, including the results of the online public consultation, will be presented on 9 May 2019 at the first summit of the EU-27 in Sibiu, Romania. This summit takes place just a few weeks before the European elections. For further background information, see also the Commission press release IP/18/3706.