On 21 and 22 January 2022 in Strasbourg, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, took part in the third Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Plenary debated, for the first time, the recommendations from the national and European Citizens’ Panels on four themes of the Conference: values and rights, rule of law, security; European democracy; climate change; and health.
In her remarks to the participants of the Conference Plenary, the Parliamentary Secretary expressed support for citizens’ initiatives aimed at improving the overall rule of law environment in the EU. Values, the rule of law and security are the cornerstones which the EU has been established on, and which have enabled us to withstand crises, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted, underscoring that the future of a strong and united Europe is conditional on the ability to come to an agreement on the protection of values.
It is noteworthy that those topics have also been highlighted by the residents of Latvia during national-level discussions. It is also essential for people in Latvia that the EU’s involvement in fighting disinformation be increased. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted that, with security challenges increasing, special attentions should be directed to the strengthening of the member States’ resilience to hybrid threat, including disinformation and cyber-attacks. A special role must be assigned to the promotion of media literacy and reinforcing of media independence, the Parliamentary Secretary underlined.
The next Conference Plenaries in March and April are set to examine recommendations from the European Citizens’ Panels on the following topics: migration; EU in the world; digital transformation; a stronger economy, social justice and jobs; education, culture, youth and sports. The Conference on the Future of Europe is expected to reach its conclusion on this coming 9 May, Europe Day.
The Conference on the Future of Europe seeks to increase the citizens’ role in the formation of the future of the European Union and formulation of its goals. Any European has the opportunity to get involved in the Conference proceedings by sharing their ideas or comments on a multilingual digital platform. Further information on the Conference is available here.