The Conference on the Future of Europe – How could it be used to advance Agenda 2030 in Europe?

By SDG Watch Europe

On 28. September 2021, one of our members from Finland, FINGO hosted an event on how the Conference on the Future of Europe could be useful to advance Agenda 2030 in Europe.

“In the absence of an overarching strategy for implementing 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, civil society organisations and other stakeholders are calling for a rethink on how to make policymaking more collaborative, inclusive, transparent, and therefore more effective for stakeholders at all levels” (FINGO).

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a short-term civil-society engagement mechanism established by the European Commission for European citizens and other stakeholders to engage in the design of Europe’s common future. Could this be one solution for more stakeholder participation and structured dialogue between stakeholders, citizens and the European Commission, Parliament and the Council?

These questions were be considered in this webinar, organised as part of the European Sustainable Development Week to promote active engagement on sustainable development.

As SDG Watch Europe, we attended the event, and engaged in the 15-minute discussion.

Here the main key considerations from the webinar:

 📍 We (CSOs and individuals) must prevent the Conference from becoming a “EU-bubble” Conference
📍 If the majority stays silent, the voices heard will be the ones of demagogues, and people who already have a say in EU policymaking
📍 To prevent this, we must mobilize ALL citizens – regardless of their field of work, class, gender, nationality
📍 The Conference could have been built directly on Agenda 2030/SGDs, since all themes are part of it

Overall, the event gave participants the possibility to reflect on the main goal of the Conference, which is to allow for civic engagement; yet, it also gave the possibility to consider the flaws and possible discrepancies that lay within the initiative.

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