Participation of the Swedish Government in the Conference on the Future of Europe
There is no shortage of major societal issues for the European Union to address. The climate crisis. The threats to our common values. The new security situation following Russia’s atrocious invasion of Ukraine. And many other issues that are absolutely definitive for our future.
These need to be discussed throughout our Union. The Conference on the Future of Europe has been a good opportunity to do just that, in all Member States. More than 130 events, both physical and digital, have been held in Sweden, where many important issues for the future have been discussed. And the Conference’s digital platform has received over 18,000 ideas from citizens across the EU. I have participated as much as I could – the most enjoyable aspect has been visiting schools around Sweden to talk to young people about the issues affecting the future of the Union. About our common values, about climate and about security policy developments.
One precondition for reaching out to a wider audience throughout our society is the involvement of social partners, civil society organisations and various educational organisations. A starting point for the Government in its work on the Conference has therefore been to hold deliberation, through what we call EU thematic consultations, with precisely these actors to encourage the involvement of their members and organisations in the discussions on the future of the EU. Increasing participation in the development of society builds trust in the democratic system.
I think the Conference has been useful, for two reasons. Firstly, citizens across the Union have had an opportunity to participate in the important democratic conversation about the future of the EU and our shared challenges. Secondly, a wide range of ideas have emerged about how our cooperation can be developed, which will now be further analysed by the participating EU institutions.
The Conference has concluded. But the Government’s work to encourage greater citizen participation, knowledge about and engagement in EU issues in Sweden continues. Given recent developments, this feels very important. Cooperation in the EU is needed now more than ever.