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Despite low citizen participation, the message is clear: people do not just expect real changes in European policy and treaties, they want to, and must, shape them.

The Conference on the Future of Europe has put forward 325 proposals for the future functioning of the EU, from citizens and elected representatives at the European and national level. 

The consultation process  that has taken place over the last year has demonstrated the need for permanent and more ambitious forms  for popular participation in EU decision-making structures. 

Even if a broader citizen involvement process would have given more strength to the recommendations, it is interesting to see that citizen contributions within the COFE do not ask for more austerity, free trade or competition but echoe broader citizen demands from NGOs and activists. On the contrary, they overwhelmingly demand a strengthening of “Social Europe”, meaning progressive economic, health, environmental and asylum policies. Much attention was also paid to safeguarding the rule of law, and the values ​​laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, both at EU and member state level. 

Now the EU institutions must deliver. And this requires treaty change. The Left is committed to ensuring a transparent follow-up process that results in meaningful change in line with the key concerns facing people: the need to tackle the climate emergency; radically reform EU economic governance structures & deliver tax justice; strengthen workers’ rights, defend peace, establish a humane migration policy; protect public services; achieve gender equality; and further democratize the EU.


Manon Aubry and Martin Schirdewan, Co-Presidents of The Left in the European Parliament. Helmut Scholz, Observer/Member for the European Parliament in the Executive Committee of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

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