"Citizens, you have the floor!", Renew Europe dialogues with 500 citizens in 50 European cities

Author: Hugues Stéphane Beaudouin

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On Saturday 12 February, Renew Europe will bring together more than 500 citizens in 50 cities across the EU around discussion tables to continue the dialogue on the future of Europe. This is a landmark pan-european exercise to define what kind of Europe we want to live in : to give voice, to listen, to collect the criticisms, wishes and proposals of citizens in order to feed the debates and the conclusions of the Conference on the future of Europe.

These discussion tables are organised in partnership with Democratic Society, a non-partisan NGO recognised for its expertise in the field of deliberative democracy. Together with its local partners, it selected the participants.

This deliberative process, which began several months ago, has already identified the priorities of the citizens consulted. These priorities are the environment, the European Union in the world, and democracy and the rule of law. Concrete proposals have also been put forward for debate: minimum social security rights within the European Union; a real power of initiative for the European Parliament; transnational lists for the European elections; and the end of unanimity voting in the Council of the European Union in particular.

It is around these issues that discussions will continue on 12 February. Each assembly will also have the opportunity to debate a topic that it considers important locally. Many MEPs and elected members of our political family will participate in these debates.

The determination of our political group has made it possible to launch the Conference on the Future of Europe. We recalled its importance in the political agreement signed in early January with our partners in the European Parliament.

In our view, this exercise in direct dialogue with citizens must be the first step in a long-term process. Reconciling citizens with the European project must involve regular and direct dialogue with them.