#TheFutureIsYours Strengthening European democracy
SHARING THE FUTURE OF EUROPE AS A PROJECT, A METHOD AND AN AGENDA
The Conference on the Future of Europe, suggested by Emmanuel Macron on the eve of the European elections in May 2019 and strongly supported by the European Parliament and the European Commission, reopens the work of the European Union more than ten years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which was signed by the Member States in December 2007. From July 1987 to December 2009, the European Treaties were subject to regular revision and verification processes because the Treaty of Maastricht entered into force in November 1993, the Amsterdam Treaty in May 1999, the Nice Treaty in February 2003 and the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009. Since the signing of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union has been subjected to stress because of adverse, partly unpredictable scenarios, which have put a strain on its ability to withstand and respond to adverse economic and financial developments (the crisis caused in 2008 by the failure of the public company active in the market for US bonds Lehman Brothers, which is demographic in nature (managing the increase in migration flows as a result of wars, hunger and environmental disasters that have emerged in the last ten years), internal security (the terrorist attacks that have also been claimed by the COVID-2015 and the COVID-19 attacks). In the face of these stress tests, the political conflict between those who argued that responding to crises requires a strengthening of national sovereignty and thus of nation states by increasing euro-hostile movements in almost all European countries and those who believe that the four adverse scenarios have a cross-border dimension and therefore require transnational responses has become increasingly important. At the heart of this conflict from the point of view of the need for a transnational response, Emmanuel Macron launched in September 2017 an initiative for a “sovereign, united and democratic Europe”, which materialised in March 2019 in the proposal of the Conference on the Future of Europe not as a place for decision and negotiation to revise the Treaties, but as a public space (according to the terminology used by Juergen Habermas) to compare representative democracy (institutions) and participatory democracy (citizens). In view of the opening of the Conference, which will take place on 9 May in Strasbourg partly face-to-face and partly remotely), I would like to explore with you three aspects of the debate on the future of Europe (which implies a reflection not only on the fate of the European Union but more generally on the political and institutional balances on the European continent), which touches on the content of the European project in its aspects of policies and politics, the method of responding to the ability of the Union and its Member States to react to adverse developments in the European Union, and to bring it to an end in the European Union, and to give it an opportunity to debate the future of the European Union and its Member States’ ability to respond to adverse developments in the European Union, and to give it an opportunity to review the Union’s global agenda, and to bring it to a close in May 2024. We will be able to come back to this issue at the Conference on the Future of Europe, hopefully all in the autumn in Trieste.
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