Minister Byrne attends final Plenary Session of the Conference on the Future of Europe
Press release03 May 2022
Last weekend, the Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne T.D. attended the final plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe in Strasbourg. The Plenary Sessions of the Conference on the Future of Europe brought together representatives from the governments of the 27 EU Member States, national parliaments, the European Parliament, the European Commission and other EU representative bodies and social partners along with ordinary citizens. Discussion within the seven plenary sessions have been guided by suggestions and ideas from ordinary citizens, including those submitted through the EU’s multilingual digital platform designed especially for the Conference. The final plenary saw the adoption of 49 proposals spanning nine Conference topics in the areas of health, education, the economy, climate change, EU and the World and European Democracy.
Speaking following his visit to Strasbourg, Minister Byrne said:
“I was delighted to attend the final plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe over the weekend and to debate and discuss important issues confronting the European Union. The Conference has been a real innovation as regards improving citizen engagement within the EU and has also helped to reaffirm those core values, including dialogue, inclusivity and transparency, which underlie our Union. The role played by citizens has been central to the operation of the Conference throughout and has resulted in a wide-ranging series of recommendations which have been extensively debated within the Conference Plenary.
"Following last weekend’s event, the proposals and recommendations emanating from the Citizens’ Panels held across Europe as part of this process will be formally presented to the Presidents of the three Institutions next Monday on Europe Day, 9 May, following which each of the institutions will begin their analysis and scrutiny of how best to implement the changes sought by citizens. Both Irish and EU citizens have made clear that they want and expect to be both better informed and more fully engaged in how we as a Union conduct our business. Their recommendations will now guide those of us in Government as to how we can achieve this goal. The Irish Government reaffirms its absolute commitment to this task and we will work with our fellow Member States as members of the Council over the coming months ahead as we examine the citizens’ proposals and recommendations.
"I want to thank all those Irish citizens who have been involved in the Conference process, those who took part in the over seventy Conference events held in Ireland over the last year and those who contributed to the Conference’s Digital Platform. The input of citizens has helped shape these proposals and together we must ensure that the voices of EU citizens remain centre-stage as the Institutions give consideration to these proposals.”
3 May 2022
Notes to editors
A full list of the 49 proposals adopted by the Conference Plenary and the 177 recommendations proposed by the European Citizens’ panels is available on the Conference on the Future of Europe website – futureu.europa.eu