On Wednesday 23rd June, Vice-President Šuica engaged in a live debate on the Conference on the Future of Europe with young people from four member states.
Around 50 participants connected live from Portugal, Slovenia, France, and Croatia. These countries were selected as they are the current and two future the EU Presidency countries during the Conference, and the Vice-President’s country of origin.
he younger audience were aged 15-18 connected with the Vice-President in the Berlaymont studio via Zoom, with interpretation. The dialogue was streamed live via the Conference platform https://futureu.europa.eu/, as well as the Representations’ social media accounts and EbS. It is available, recorded here: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-208183
People put their questions to the Vice-President in four rounds and questions also came in live from social media channels. The participants wanted to know what impact Covid will have on the Conference, how the EU could ensure good education, rural life and farming and many other hot topics related to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Young people’s concerns, hopes, ideas and recommendations were central to the discussion, especially in the context of their expectations about the future of the European Union and its role in shaping global developments and transformations. From farming and rural areas, to global warming, education and migration, the enthusiastic participants expressed their views and asked the Vice-President for her explanations on what the EU is doing in these areas.
On the Conference itself, two participants from Portugal sought assurance that young people were not there as a token, and that their ideas would really be taken on board by the EU. They wanted to know about the concrete follow-up of the Conference, and a young Slovenian participant echoed their questions with her request to understand how the Conference could alter the course of our democracy in the EU as we know it.
‘No other democracy in the world has dared to organize something on this scale’, said Vice-President Šuica. The Vice-President encouraged online viewers that all citizens can influence the future of Europe, from young to old, people simply need to use the platform to make their voice heard. We need to listen to those we do not usually engage with - this is at the core of the Conference. Imploring people to take part, the VP reiterated the strong and simple message - this is your Conference.