"A unique and invaluable opportunity to say what we want for Europe".
Slightly more than two months after the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe on 9 May (Europe Day), our French MEP Laurence Farreng took stock of the progress so far. The MEP, who sits on the European Parliament's delegation to the Conference, said that the Conference on the Future of Europe is "a unique and invaluable opportunity to say what we want for Europe".
Laurence Farreng highlighted in particular the success of the digital citizens' platform which allows citizens to actively participate in the reflection on the institution that is Europe. "It is now a success, there are eighteen thousand contributions online," she said, while promising to involve more women in the consultation process: "There have been many contributions but we lack women: fifteen thousand men for three thousand women. So, here again, if we want to be the continent of gender equality, there will be a great effort to make on this subject".
As for the role of the European Democratic Party (EDP), Laurence Farreng said that "as the EDP, we have a particular responsibility [towards the Conference]: first of all, we initiated it, we pushed strongly for it in the European political group we are a aprt of, Renew Europe, and we must in this context that we are experiencing today, of fake news, of lack of confidence, further strengthen the citizen's link. We also have to think about what we want for our institutions, how to develop them, are we going to move towards transnational lists, are we going to be able to involve young people more closely, are we going to be able to lift the unanimity rule in order to equip ourselves with real tools for action and intervention, that is to say, to open up the treaties, so, on all of this, we are in the driving seat and we must be influential."
Personally, issues linked to youth, culture and education are particularly close to the MEP's heart. "Culture is what unites us, culture - and everything is culture - there is the question of cultural diversity, regional languages, the weight of European culture in the world, which are also subjects that will be among my priorities", Laurence Farreng said.
Finally, she anticipated the next steps: "The next plenary [will be] in October and between now and then there will be meetings, reflections that we will each lead in our countries, in our constituencies."