On 23 October 2021 in Strasbourg, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, took part in the second Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Parliamentary Secretary underlined Latvia’s unwavering support for European unity and called on everyone to get actively involved in the sharing of opinions on how to bring the European Union closer to its residents and make it more understandable to them.
The pandemic is yet another proof, said Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, that we can do more and do better if we cooperate. She expressed a wish for the European Union to shine not only under crises, but also for us to feel proud of what we have achieved together. The Conference on the Future of Europe is an opportunity for each of us to build a Europe where anyone feels included, the Parliamentary Secretary underlined in her remarks to the participants of the Plenary.
The Parliamentary Secretary pointed out that people in Latvia are actively involved in sharing opinions with a clear vision of what they expect Europe to deliver. Special focus is placed on climate change and the increasing digital divide, and the willingness to be involved in EU decision making. The proposals are very concrete, and people expect the Conference to yield results, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica said, adding that our task is to offer real solutions at the conclusion of the Conference.
The day before, on 22 October, the nine thematic working groups held their meetings the purpose of which was to support the preparation of the plenary by summarizing people’s proposals. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica is participating in the “Values and rights, rule of law, security” working group, which considered issues vital for people such as the EU’s values and the rule of law, promoting gender equality, fighting the negative impact of disinformation, corruption, cyber-attacks, and terrorism.
The Conference on the Future of Europe was launched on 9 May 2021, and it is expected to reach its conclusion by the spring of 2022. The plenary session is one of the central elements of the Conference on the Future of Europe at which the ideas stemming from the multilingual digital platform, the European citizens’ panels and national panels or events will be collected so that recommendations for the final report can be produced. EU institutions – the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament –, the national parliaments of EU Member States, non-governmental organisations and social partners are represented in the Conference Plenary.
During the Conference, any resident of Europe can visit the Conference’s multilingual digital platform and learn about events underway across Europe, get involved and share their ideas.
For further information concerning the Conference on the Future of Europe, see here.