#TheFutureIsYours Transversal and cross-cutting issues
Event report available
A preliminary step towards launching a series of debates and discussions, which will allow citizens across Europe to share their ideas to help shape the future of Europe, this is in a nutshell the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFe). The CoFe aims to give citizens a stronger role in shaping the EU’s policies and ambitions. It will serve as a virtual forum for an open, inclusive, transparent and structured debate with European citizens on issues affecting them and affecting their daily lives. The Conference will focus on the main themes underpinning recovery and resilience policies identified by the Next Generation EU plan such as health, climate change, social fairness, digital transformation, the role of the EU in the world and strengthening the democratic processes governing the EU. These are in line with the general priorities of the EU and the issues raised by citizens in opinion polls. Ultimately, it will be the participants who will decide which topics will be dealt with at the conference. The Conference paves the way for events initiated by citizens, to be organised in cooperation with civil society and stakeholders at all levels, national and regional parliaments, European institutions, social partners and academia. Their participation in the process is essential to ensure maximum involvement and dissemination. This, and so much more, will be discussed with students, teachers, researchers and citizens at the event to be organised by the CDE at the Kore University of Enna. Professor Francisco Balaguer Callejon (University of Granada) and Professor Fausto Vecchio (Kore University) will be present at the event organised on the occasion of the 2021 Italian CDE network project.
Event reportAfter the opening of the work by the Preside of the Faculty of Economic and Legal Sciences of the Kore University of Enna, Prof. Roberto Di Maria, of the “Conference on the Future of Europe” (an event forming part of the CDE network project), the Magnifico Rettore, Prof. Giovanni Puglisi, took the floor. Prof. Puglisi stressed the need to outline future scenarios for a broad Europe based on fundamental and basic rules stemming from common principles, principles which are still missing in the European Union, as unfortunately the “House of the unanimity” is often (rightly) identified. He then took the floor. Francesco Garza, national coordinator of the CDE network, who, after briefly presenting the “Platform on the Future of Europe”, sent a message to young people inviting them to submit proposals to activate the exercise of democracy from the bottom up. The work continued with an interview/debate between Prof. Fausto Vecchio (Enna Kore University) and Prof. Francisco Balaguer Callejon (University of Granada). The debate focused on the challenges Europe is facing in the near future in order to overcome the current impasse (mainly caused by an overly bureaucratic Union), and in particular the European challenge against populism and the epidemiological crisis that is going through not only Europe but the rest of the world. The first consideration that emerged was that a populist drift could jeopardise the traditional patterns of the European constitutional state. Prof. Callejon first pointed out that populism is fundamentally different from authoritarian regimes such as fascism, since although it is also a pro-democracy movement, it is not an anti-system movement. On the contrary, populism wants to work within the system to use it to achieve its objectives and does not want to replace the “Constitution”. In any case, the risk that the situation caused by the Covid-19 crisis, if poorly managed, could ‘help’ populism to make a qualitative leap is evident. In order to avoid such an event, it is first necessary to rethink the current European choices. The European Union has often been criticised for ‘inaction’, which is not entirely correct: Europe has been well “reactive”, the underlying problem is that wrong solutions have been put in place. The methodological choice used by the Union has not been concerned, nor is it concerned, to prevent problems because it does not define them before: Europe does not yet have the capacity to be forward-looking with a view to the future. Another shame that emerged during the debate was the lack of a Europe in the federal sense: the absence of a fully-fledged European ‘constitutionality’ and of a political construction has the direct consequence that it is impossible to find the appropriate instruments to anticipate problems or to tackle them effectively and efficiently. Another aspect that has come out is that of free movement within the EU, which is now a crucial and priority aspect that also concerns the pandemic crisis. In this regard, it has been pointed out that it is appropriate, if not necessary, to ‘raise the threshold of freedom’ in order to return to normal as soon as possible and spread not only economically but also in terms of functionality. Other challenges facing Europe relate to globalisation and technology; these challenges have so far not been addressed in the right direction and which could increasingly reinforce the populist trend. In some cases, in Europe, it was further emphasised, it was not a lack of a proper methodology to address challenges and problems: what is still missing is sometimes an absence of a ‘method’ and the experience of the Recovery Fund is the most striking example of it. It is therefore necessary not only to rationalise the shooting but also to “institutionalise” the choices and methods, as what Europe lacks is the ability to turn into constitutional issues issues that remain purely technical issues. The absence of the constitutional dimension, of common and shared constitutional values and principles and of a genuine European constitutional identity are problems to which a solution must be found soon: this is a problem that Europe urgently needs to tackle! The construction of a Europe in the federal sense (which, as the Preside Prof. Di Maria pointed out, can also solve the problems of European economic and financial recovery) is not a functional or semantic issue, but is a practical, indispensable issue not only to address the challenges of populism and pandemic crisis, but also to build a Europe of the future in the best possible way.
11:00 - 13:00
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