Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How can I participate in the Conference on the Future of Europe?
Everyone can participate by creating ideas on this platform, commenting on the ideas of others or endorsing them. You can also organise events or participate in events.
How do I register to participate?
In order to take part, you will be required to log in to the platform. To be able to log in, you need to create an EU login, if you do not already have one. Please refer to the ECAS website to do so (~ 3 minutes). Once you have your EU login, click on the “login” button on the Conference on the Future of Europe platform. Fill in the fields with your email address and password. Once you have logged into the platform, you will answer some short questions about yourself – e.g. which country you are from, your age, and background.
Once logged in, you can check your Public Profile. The name and nickname/pseudonym fields are public and appear on your public profile as well as next to your ideas, comments and endorsements:
If you wish to contribute on behalf of an organization (association, company, etc.), you can put the name of this organization as a name.
Your email address remains private. Before you can contribute, you must validate your email address by clicking on the link in the email sent to you after registration; remember to check your junk mail if you do not receive a confirmation email from the Platform. Do not hesitate to contact us if you encounter any difficulties in registering.
All you need to do is to log in using the login link at the top right of the Platform.
How will contributions be analysed?
Input from citizens’ online submissions and events will be analysed, using a combination of digital tools, data mining and human analysis. Reports will be prepared and will feed into the European Citizens' Panels and the Conference Plenary. These reports will also be available on the platform itself.
The Executive Board will draw-up and publish the conclusions of the Conference Plenary and will present the final outcome of the Conference in a report to the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Council and the President of the European Commission. The three institutions will examine swiftly how to follow up effectively to this report, each within their own sphere of competences and in accordance with the Treaties.
How long will the platform be open for idea submission?
The Conference should reach conclusions by Spring 2022, so as to provide guidance to the three institutions on the future of Europe. It is therefore currently foreseen that the platform will be open until Spring 2022.
Why are there only ten topics?
The ten topics should be understood as a broad framework under which many different ideas and events can be classified. If you feel that your idea or event does not fit under one of the nine concrete topics proposed, feel free to include it via the ‘other ideas’ section on the platform. This section is created for cross-cutting ideas and events, or topics other than those listed on the platform.
How to contact the site's facilitators?
You can contact us if you have difficulties contributing.
Making contributions on the digital platform
Language & eTranslation
What languages can I use to write my contributions?
You may choose any one of the 24 official languages of the European Union when writing your contributions. The browsing language options can be found in the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the site.
Thanks to machine translation, your post will also become available in the other official languages of the EU.
Can I write a post using multiple languages? If I speak multiple languages must I stick to a single language when writing contributions on the platform?
We kindly ask you to post your contributions in the browsing language and not to mix different languages in one contribution. This will ensure that your contribution can be translated into the other official languages of the EU by automatic translation and that all other users of the platform can understand it.
If you wish to use another language, please change your browsing language first.
Why is my post not well translated in other languages?
The translation on this platform is generated by eTranslation, a machine translation tool provided by the European Commission. Machine translation can give you a basic idea of the content in a language you understand. It is fully automated and involves no human intervention. The quality and accuracy of machine translation can vary significantly from one text to another and between different language pairs. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy and accepts no liability for possible errors. Some content, such as images, videos, files, may not be translated due to the technical limitations of the system.
Posting and discussing ideas
How do I create an idea?
First of all, you have to log in to the Platform with your account. If you don't have one yet, please follow the registration process described above. When you are on the list of ideas for the desired topic, you can add your own idea by clicking on the "New idea +" button.
You indicate the title and content of your idea, in a maximum of 150 and 1500 characters respectively.
A comparison step highlights previous ideas that may be similar to yours:
- You can then support them and browse them by clicking on their title;
- if you feel that your idea is different, you can continue in its publication by clicking on the "My idea is original" button.
You have 30 minutes after submitting your idea to edit it.
What should I include in my idea?
Ideas on the platform should be the free expression of your opinions in a respectful manner. You may read about each topic on the platform in order to discover what the EU is already doing in a certain field. Your idea should include a concrete proposal. Ideas that only contain a general comment or a link may be hidden by the Moderation Team.
What will happen to my idea once posted?
Once your idea has been posted, other users may comment on it and endorse it. The idea will appear on the index of ideas for the chosen topic and in the search results of users, depending on the search criteria they have used. See also: How will contributions be analysed?
What if my idea exceeds the 1500 characters allowed? Can I divide it into multiple ideas?
You cannot use more than 1500 characters in the idea field. In case of a more complex idea, you may consider breaking it down into separate ideas.
Can I add a pdf file to explain my idea? Can I add a link to my post?
It is not possible to add PDF files to an idea, they cannot be automatically translated and analysed. But you can add links in order to provide more background for the other users. Note that external web pages will not be analysed at the end of the Conference and any external links must be to a reliable source. Links to sites that are aimed at generating revenue for instance selling a product are not permitted.
Can I post the same idea in various topics?
We kindly ask you to post your idea in a single topic. This will allow for a more fruitful discussion and prevent confusion. If you consider that your contribution may fit into multiple categories, please choose the category under which the idea mainly belongs.
Can I send an idea by email?
Submissions are not accepted by email and will not be taken into consideration during the analysis process of the Conference.
I cannot find an idea that I created. How can I find it?
The quickest way to find your ideas is to hover the cursor over ’Logged in’ and select ‘My public profile’. Your contributions appear in the submenu ‘My activity’.
I made a mistake while creating my idea or submitting my comment, can I edit or delete it?
It is currently not possible to edit an idea on the platform more than 30 minutes after you originally posted it, for reasons of transparency and accountability. This is stated on the platform as you upload your contribution. Similarly, comments cannot be edited once shared on the platform.
If you wish to keep your idea, but to correct it, you can provide a clarification in the comments section. If you make a mistake in a comment, you may add a clarification in the same comments thread.
It is also possible to withdraw an idea. This means that your idea will be displayed with a label indicating that it has been withdrawn but it will still appear on the platform.
If you wish to permanently hide your idea from the platform, you may contact the Moderation Team.
What does it mean to ‘endorse’ an idea?
When you ‘endorse’ an idea, you are indicating that you support another user’s contribution. An ‘endorsement’ can be considered similar to ‘liking’ a post on other forms of social media and helps indicate the general favourability of participants regarding a certain idea, whilst not giving any indications about any opposition to it. Therefore, the number of endorsements is not per se an indicator of overall support for the idea, but just one of the many aspects that will be taken into consideration during the later analysis of platform contributions.
What does it mean to ‘follow’ an idea?
When you ‘follow’ an idea, this means that you will receive notifications when new comments are added on the particular post that you have followed.
Creation of and participation in events
How can I participate in an event?
The platform includes a list of upcoming events related to the Conference. You can access the full list of events from the home page of the platform. A detailed search is possible on pages dedicated to different topics. You can also look for events on the map of events.
Information on each event can be found by clicking on the event of interest. In order to register, you should use the external registration system of the event’s organiser. If this information is not provided, you can contact the organiser to request more details.
How can I create an event myself?
Please feel free to consult the ‘Guide for event organisers’ to learn more about creating an event. You can access the event creation form through each topic page.
Why do I need to add an address for an online event?
You need to add an address to your online event to place it on the event map. Some users may only browse events using the map.
If your event is online, it is enough to indicate a country and postal code so that the event is correctly displayed on the EU map.
I cannot find an event that I created. How can I find it?
Your contributions to the platform can be reviewed hovering the cursor over ‘Logged in’ and selecting ‘My public profile’. Your events appear in the submenu ‘My activity’.
Please note on the ‘Events’ pages, only upcoming events are displayed by default. If your event has already taken place, you will need to select the filter ‘Past events’ to find it.
Why can I not see my event on the map?
If you are having trouble locating your event on the map, you may simply have to zoom in to see it displayed. If your event has already taken place, you will need to select the filter ‘Past events’ for your event to appear on the map.
If you still cannot see your event, it is possible that you may have incorrectly entered the event’s address during the event creation step. Use the ‘Edit event’ button on the individual event page to correct it. As a reminder, the address should include at least a postal code and a country.
Is it possible to know in advance how many participants will attend an event?
Information concerning participants in an event is not available on the platform as registration takes place on external websites. Users can contact the event organiser regarding this information.
I want to update the information regarding my event, can I edit it?
You may edit your event at any time by clicking on the ‘Edit event’ button on the right side of the event page.
My event has been cancelled. Can I delete it?
If your event has been cancelled, please update the event title to indicate this change so that interested users are informed. For example, rename your event ‘EVENT CANCELLED’.
If your event needs to be deleted you can inform the Moderation Team who will be available to assist with this.
How do I close an event? Why should I provide an event report?
You can close an event by clicking on the button ‘Close event’ on the right hand side of the event page. You will then be asked to write an event report and link related ideas on the platform to your event.
You will also receive a notification from the Moderation Team when the date of your event has passed, reminding you to share the event report.
Sharing an event report ensures that citizens have access to the ideas that were exchanged at your event and that these ideas can be taken into account in the analysis, allowing proper feedback and follow-up. It is crucial to create an event report for the Conference to be effective.
What should I include in an event report?
In the event report, it would be useful to include information on the type of event (e.g. participatory workshop, open space, world café), the number of participants and their demographic background (e.g. age, gender), the main subjects discussed and ideas suggested, the arguments that led to them, as well as the general atmosphere and expected follow-up. For more details, please consult the ‘Guide for event organisers’.
There is no character limit for event reports. Note that for analysis reasons, it is not possible to edit the report once it has been published.
The platform also allows for ideas that have emerged during the discussions and that are already published on the platform to be linked to the event. We encourage you to do so.
Why do you moderate this platform?
The Conference platform is moderated to ensure that it is used for its intended purpose and remains a space where citizens from all backgrounds, walks of life and all corners of the European Union feel comfortable and welcome to contribute to the debate on our common future.
Who is responsible for moderation and how does it work?
The platform is moderated by a Moderation Team working under the supervision of the Common Secretariat on behalf of the Executive Board of the Conference.
The team reviews content on the platform after it has been posted. No prior moderation takes place.
If the Moderation Team finds that a contribution violates the Conference Charter or the Rules of Participation, it may either directly hide it or message the author requesting clarifications or adjustments to the contribution. When a contribution is hidden, the users will receive a message from the Moderation Team explaining the reason for this action. The Moderation Team brings cases that require further discussion to the attention of the Common Secretariat.
Users can also report content that they consider inappropriate to the Moderation Team. See How can I report inappropriate content?
Why was my post hidden by the Moderation Team? Are you not in favour of freedom of speech?
Any post that does not comply with the Conference Charter and the Rules of Participation will be hidden. These rules aim to keep the platform a safe space where everyone feels respected and welcome to contribute to the debate on the future of Europe. They in no way inhibit you from sharing your opinions nor violate your freedom of speech.
We ask you to avoid obscenities and other insulting language (no racism, xenophobia, calls to violence, discrimination based on religion, ethnic origin, gender, age, language, or provocative messages…). We cannot accept advertisement or self-promotional comments, for instance on your business, book, blog or website. This also applies to political campaigning on a national level. References to nazism and fascism outside of the historical context in which they took place, will be hidden.
The Moderation Team is committed to transparency and can provide a detailed explanation of why your contribution was hidden. See also What can I do if I do not agree with the Moderation Team, can I contest a decision?
What can I do if I do not agree with the Moderation Team, can I contest a decision?
If you do not agree with a decision regarding your contribution, you can message the Moderation Team and explain your position. In case of disagreements, the Moderation Team will bring the issue to the attention of the Common Secretariat. We ask you to not post comments on or to the Moderation Team as ideas or comments on the Platform. This is not what this space is for and we will hide them.
How can I report inappropriate content?
You may report a contribution that you consider inappropriate to the Moderation Team by clicking on the flag that appears next to the name of the user who has posted it and providing an explanation for reporting this user.
The Moderation Team will review your complaint on the basis of the Conference Charter and the Rules of Participation.
I reported a post but it still appears on the platform, why is that?
Thank you for signalling content that you consider inappropriate. The Moderation Team, and when necessary, the Common Secretariat review everything reported by users to assess whether it conforms to the Conference Charter and the Rules of Participation. If the Moderation team does not consider that these rules have been violated, the post will not be removed. If you still feel strongly that this content should be hidden, you may contact the Moderation Team. Please keep in mind that reported content may take some time to be processed, and you should allow at least 48 hours before contacting the team.
In what circumstances can a user be blocked from the Conference on the Future of Europe platform?
A user will be blocked from the platform after repeated violations of the Conference Charter and the Rules of Participation. This is very rare, and the Moderation Team only does so in case of serious and repeated misuse of the platform, and after two warnings. Users can ask to be re-admitted if they commit to respect the Charter and the Rules of Participation.
Why can I see contributions from a blocked user?
If a user has been blocked, their previous contributions that do not violate the Conference Charter and/or the Rules of Participation will remain visible on the platform. If you identify a contribution from a blocked user that you deem inappropriate, you may report it to the Moderation Team for review.
How can I contact the Moderation Team?
You can contact the Moderation Team here.
General questions concerning the platform
How can I access my personal profile?
To view your account details you should hover over ‘Logged in’ in the upper right-hand corner of any page of the platform. In the dropdown menu that opens, click on ‘My account settings’ for more information regarding your personal details and on ‘My public profile’ for an overview of your activity on the platform.
I would like to deactivate email notifications. How do I do this?
You may update your notification settings by hovering the cursor over ‘Logged in’ and selecting ‘My Account settings’. In the sub-menu ‘My notifications’ you can deactivate the notifications or select the types of notifications you would like to receive.
When you choose to receive notifications on everything you follow, and you follow a topic, you will receive notifications every time new ideas and events are added to this particular topic. If this creates too many notifications for you, you may instead choose to follow individual ideas or events that interest you so that you will be notified when comments are added to these contributions.
Where can I find the link to download open data files from the Conference on the Future of Europe platform?
This data is publicly available to foster the participation of citizens in political and social life and increase the transparency of government with the goal of facilitating access to and reuse of public sector information. More information on the European Commission’s open data policies can be found here.