Today, the Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, T.D., virtually attended the first plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe in Strasbourg.
Minister Byrne said “I am delighted to be taking part virtually in today’s first Plenary Session in Strasbourg along with delegates from all across the EU. I hope this will be the start of a real and active citizen-led discussion across the EU on issues that are of importance to all EU citizens”
The Plenary Sessions of the Conference on the Future of Europe brings together representatives from 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. The Plenary will meet on at least six occasions over the next year and will be guided by suggestions and ideas submitted through the EU’s multilingual digital platform designed especially for the Conference.
Minister Byrne said:
“The Plenary of the Conference has a key role to play in giving ordinary European citizens a platform to express their opinions on the future direction of our Union. In Ireland, we have a positive record of direct engagement with our citizens and I intend to build on this engagement throughout the various Conference events taking place in Ireland.
“The Conference and its Plenary offers a valuable opportunity for us all to participate in a real discussion and conversation about our vision of Europe for the next generation. I encourage everyone, and particularly our younger citizens, to engage with the Digital Platform that has been created for the Conference and to submit your ideas and suggestions. It is these ideas and suggestions that will guide our work in the Plenary sessions in the months ahead.”
18 June 2021
Notes for editors
- The Conference on the Future of Europe is a joint initiative of the three EU institutions (Council, Parliament and Commission) involving a year-long series of conferences and consultations aimed at promoting greater citizen engagement in determining the future of the EU
- As part of the Government’s plans for the Conference, a range of events will be organised aimed at promoting greater citizen involvement. These events (initially virtual in nature) will provide all citizens with an opportunity to consider the challenges the European Union faces and how they should be addressed. A number of all-island events will also be organised to ensure that the views of EU citizens living outside the immediate borders of our Union, including the hundreds of thousands living in Northern Ireland, are heard. A number of other events with the Irish diaspora and our younger citizens will also be organised over the course of the next year.
- As well as the series of meetings and events for the Conference in Ireland, an EU-wide Multilingual Digital Platform has also been launched as part of the Conference. This portal is available in all 24 official languages of the EU, including Irish and English, and all EU citizens, including those living in Northern Ireland, are invited to visit the platform. The platform can be accessed at Conference on the Future of Europe (https://futureu.europa.eu/). The platform allows citizens from across the EU to engage directly and have their say on the topics that they consider important for the future of the EU.