The COVID-19 challenges for the Conference on the Future of Europe

The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) Brussels Office

and 

European Policy Centre (EPC)

 

have the honour to invite you to join:

 

ONLINE POLICY DIALOGUE

 

Wednesday 19 May 2021

16.00-17.30 (CET)

 

The COVID-19 challenges for the 

Conference on the Future of Europe

 

Conference note:

 

On Wednesday, May 19th, PISM Brussels Office had the pleasure to work together with the European Policy Centre (EPC) on running an online policy dialogue on the COVID19 crisis challenges to the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The online dialogue started with Corina Stratulat’s opening remarks where she has been so kind as to summarise the context, in which the Conference on the Future of Europe would take place this year as well as the background and the objectives of this event. Following the introduction, Ms Stratulat opened the floor to the panellists by asking them to what extent the Conference can help us steer the brave new world in the pandemic and the post-pandemic climate in the following years.

In his speech, Göran von Sydow, the Director of the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies emphasized that issues regarding health as well as competence division should take priority on the EU agenda. He added that the Conference on the Future of Europe should also address the question of how to build European societies’ resilience to diverse current issues and crises, Covid19 pandemic, climate change and migration amongst others. Von Sydow noted that the future is, indeed, determined by the next generation’s aid package will be delivered and how effective it will be to solve some of the present issues.

Ms Jolanta Szymanska, the Head of the European Union Programme at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) was next to deliver her expert presentation. Ms Szymanska discussed the fact that Poland has a clearly outlined set of priorities when it comes to its membership in the V4 group as well as the EU, amongst them its efforts to move towards elimination of economics barriers in the V4 region, closer cooperation on tax matters with the EU and continual enlargement of the Union. Following, Ms Nicoletta Pirozzi, Head of the EU politics and institutions programme, Instituto Affari Internazionali elaborated on the fact that it is important to renew the EU’s strong commitment to a more democratic and a more integrated Union. Ms Pirozzi furthered that the Conference on the Future of Europe can serve as a useful mechanism to do just that – to let the European citizens know that what they want to transform within the EU can evolve into reality; that they have a voice and a decision-making power too.

The Member of the European Parliament – Daniel Freund was next to deliver his presentation, in which he stressed that EU member states need to realise that ‘going it together’ – resolving issues on the EU level is a more effective manner on addressing problems that are transnational in nature, such as is the Covid19 health crisis. Mr Freund added that, according to him, the Conference on the Future of Europe has three main priorities to discuss: the organisational modus operandi of the 2024 EU elections, the mechanisms to overcome the unanimity issue and the common transition into climate neutrality on the European continent. Additionally, Freund noted that COVID19 has actually accelerated the EU integration during the crisis period and that, if we manage to make this trend a permanent one, it will have been a most significant leap forward in the recent decades. Moreover, if we want to make the Conference on the Future of Europe an effective one we need to focus on identifying winnable issues and on generating attention to them as well as to the conference itself.

Lastly, Mr Janis A. Emmanouilidis, the Director of Studies at the European Policy Centre talked about the fact that on the EU level we need to focus on concrete issues that we want to deal in light of the Covid19 pandemic. In this regard, the Conference on the Future of Europe matters more now than ever before – it can serve as a forum to discuss lessons learnt over the past year to address the health dimension of the EU cooperation. It can promote cooperation between EU member states in terms of how we will deal with next pandemics to come in the future.

The debate enjoyed a great success and a high turnout with the audience engaging in an active manner in the conversation by asking questions to the panellists and by commenting on their presentations.

Stay tuned to join our next, upcoming online debates and conferences!

 

In case you have missed the conference, the recording is available online, via following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00UN-tVhieE

 

Daniel Freund 

Member of the European Parliament

 

Nicoletta Pirozzi

Head of the EU politics and institutions programme, Instituto Affari Internazionali

 

Göran von Sydow

Director, Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies

 

Jolanta Szymańska 

Head of the European Union Programme, Polish Institute of International Affairs

 

Janis A. Emmanouilidis

Director of Studies, European Policy Centre

 

Corina Stratulat

Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (Moderator)