European Parliament backs plan for conference on EU’s future

Endorsement clears way for launch after months of delays and power struggles.

European Parliament backs plan for conference on EU’s future

European Parliament leaders on Thursday endorsed a plan to finally launch a Conference on the Future of Europe, after months of delays caused by the coronavirus crisis and bickering between EU institutions over who should be in charge.

The endorsement removes the last major hurdle to launching the conference, which is meant to come up with ideas to reshape the European Union.

Under the latest version of the plan, put forward by national governments in the Council of the EU, the conference will have three presidents — because EU institutions could not agree on a single candidate. They will be backed by a nine-strong executive board.

The plan foresees panels of citizens across the Continent giving their views on how the EU should be revamped.

After a meeting between Parliament President David Sassoli and the assembly’s political group leaders, the Parliament said it had endorsed the plan “because we want the Conference on the Future of Europe to start its work as soon as possible.”

“This will be an important contribution to building a Citizens’ Union,” the Parliament said in a statement.

The three top leaders of the conference will be the presidents of the EU’s three main institutions — the Parliament, the Commission and the Council.

The conference, an idea initially championed by French President Emmanuel Macron, was once slated to start in May 2020. But the pandemic and the prolonged behind-the-scenes contest over who should lead it scuppered those plans.

Source : Politico EU More