European Commission launches online public consultation

3 minute read.

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On Europe Day, the European Commission launched an online public consultation addressed to all Europeans, asking them what direction they want the European Union to take in the future.

This unique consultation, part of the broader Future of Europe debate launched with the Commission’s White Paper on 1 March 2017, was prepared by a panel of 96 citizens from 27 Member States, who came together to decide what questions to put to their fellow Europeans.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “With the European elections around the corner, it is time to decide what the European Union at 27 should be. Whatever happens, it must be a Europe built by Europeans. The survey we are launching today puts the question to all Europeans: What future do we want for ourselves, for our children and for our Union? Now is the time for Europeans to make their voices heard, loud and clear, on the issues that concern them and what they want their leaders to do about them.”

For the first time, the Commission convened a Citizens’ Panel on 5-6 May to draft a public consultation. Hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee, a group of 96 Europeans came to Brussels and worked together to draft a 12-question online survey. This unique exercise in participative democracy means that citizens are at the heart of the conversation on the Future of Europe.

This is part of the ongoing debate on the future of the EU at 27, launched with the Commission’s White Paper of 1 March 2017. People can already submit their views online – today’s consultation will further complement this. The online consultation will also run in parallel to the ongoing Citizens’ Dialogues being organised by the European Commission and by Member States. Almost 700 of these interactive public debates have been held in 160 cities since 2012, and the Commission will increase their frequency between now and the European elections in May 2019, with a target of organising 500 more events.

In addition to the Commission’s work, Citizens’ Dialogues are now being organised by national governments in all Member States, following an initiative from France which received the support of the Heads of State or Government of the future EU27. The Commission is sharing the benefits of its experience with Member States. The consultation will run until the Sibiu summit on 9 May 2019. The Commission will present an interim report to Member States on the White Paper process at the December 2018 European Council. A final report will then be presented at the first EU27 Summit in Sibiu, Romania, on 9 May 2019, just a few weeks ahead of the European elections.

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