The European Commission has launched an online public consultation on the direction the EU should take in the future. The consultation was launched on Europe Day (9 May) which marks the anniversary of the “Schuman declaration” in 1950 when Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe to prevent wars.
“With the European elections around the corner, it’s time to decide what the EU at 27 should be. Whatever happens, it must be a Europe build by Europeans,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
For the first time, the Commission convened a Citizens’ Panel on 5 – 6 May. A group of 96 people from all member states were selected randomly and worked together to draft the survey in an exercise described by the Commission as “participative democracy”.
Citizens are encouraged to take part in the consultation to express their concerns, hopes and expectation about the future of the EU.
“This is not about drafting EU rules and regulations but about making your voice heard by EU leaders and help them steer the right priorities for the years ahead,” writes the Commission.
The survey consists of 12 questions on different policy areas. Respondents are asked to choose between different priorities and alternative lines of actions. They are also asked in which policy areas they would prefer more or less harmonisation between member states.
The online consultation will run for one year until 9 May 2019. The Commission will present an interim report to member states at the European Council in December 2018. A final report will be presented at the first EU27 Summit in Sibiu, Romania, on 9 May 2019, just a few weeks ahead of the European elections on 23 – 26 May 2019.
In parallel, Citizens’ Dialogues are being organised by the European Commission and by Member States.
Question 1 in the online survey
Which of the following would best describe the ideal future for the European Union? at most 3 choice(s)
· Increase in organic agriculture · Reduction in food waste · Equal wages for the same job across the EU · A high level of security · A real government for the entire EU · Gender equality granted everywhere · A minimum level of guaranteed healthcare in all countries of the EU · Increased use of renewable energies · Fair and equal access to education for all across Europe · A guaranteed minimum pension across the European Union