A meaningful Conference on the Future of Europe


Straddling the generations of today and those of tomorrow: a student of EWEI's Model EU dreams of the next Conference on the Future of Europe

Straddling the generations of today and those of tomorrow: a student of EWEI’s Model EU dreams of the next Conference on the Future of Europe

Raising of the colours ceremony on the parvis of the LOW to mark the end of the 7th European Parliamentary legislature

At first envisioned as a simple community of coal miners and steelworkers, the European Union has become, in less than a century, a bastion of security for citizens and migrants, a public square of ideas for researches and entrepreneurs and a cornerstone for international trade and democracy. Encompassing today more than 446 million of inhabitants, spanning over 4 million square kilometres and 27 member countries, having 24 official languages and being the world’s third largest economythe EU has truly become, in the words of Jean Monnet (one of the EU’s founding fathers), a place “beyond differences and geographical boundaries [wherein] lies a common interest”.

Distanced from the 20th-century challenges of nuclear annihilation and the MAD doctrine of the world’s then-biggest enemies, the EU is today facing a new set of trials ranging from economic crisis to humanitarian emergencies. However, neither the issues nor the solutions are agreed upon by the European citizens. In the last election, only half of the registered voters went to the ballots. The final turnout of the 2019 election showed that no issue was strong enough (at least 50% of the responses) to motivate people to vote. At 44%, “Economy and growth” were stated as the main motivation for getting up to vote, which represents less than a fourth of the total electorate.

At its core, the EU is a community of citizens who, through their votes, choose governments that make up the Council of the EU, the EU Council, the EU Commission and directly elect the member of the EU Parliament. But the mandate of these institutions is failing, as half of the voters choose to stay home rather than to go to vote. The main reason for not taking part in the 2019 election was a lack of trust, disinterest, and dissatisfaction with politics in general, as well as a lack of interest and dissatisfaction towards the European Parliament and the EU.

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