What changes would you like to see to the EU? Should decisions be made faster and more effectively? Do we need more direct democracy? Is the EU’s institutional framework too complicated, and in need of simplification?

The EU’s Conference on the Future of Europe is a planned (and much-delayed) consultation with citizens from across Europe on the sort of reforms and future direction they want the 27-member bloc to take. It is supposed to be a completely open debate, with “no taboos” in terms of treaty change or reform.

So, ahead of the Conference on the Future of Europe, we thought we would invite citizens to discuss the sort of Europe they want to see. What would they change about the EU if they had the opportunity?

On Friday 11 December at 11:00 CET, we streamed an online Citizens’ Panel discussing the issue of EU reform. We invited Daniel Freund, Member of the European Parliament (Germany, Greens/EFA).

You can watch the stream here or on our Facebook page.

How would you change the European Union? Is the EU’s institutional framework too complicated, and in need of simplification? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: BigStock – (c) michaelpuche


18 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Christiana

    A fare to all people europe, with a sustainable refugee program that respects human needs, green developement programs, educational european laws for all europe countries with some basic directions for all..

  2. avatar
    Nuno

    Fiscal union, with much more common fiscal equality, instead of ferocious tax competition among some lucky countries from the north of the EU.
    After this, more European legislation common and equal across all member states.

    • avatar
      Jan-Marten Spit

      Agreed! Fiscal equality will not only address tax races and tax evasion by conglomerates, but it will also address the substantial untaxed shadow economies among some countries from the south of the EU.

  3. avatar
    Chris

    It’s dissolving would be a great start

    • avatar
      Jan

      Chris’s answer may be ignored but the question must be asked “Have the last 27 yrs.” been a benefit for Europe and the world, or just an ‘elite minority’? Has the ‘melding’ of countries through currency, borders and some policies actually proved to be beneficial or has it punished the prosperous and disciplined while propping up those that cannot function the same way and pretending that this experiment of casting away any national pride and history by establishing a Europe void of its precious cultural qualities will in some way further Europe’s future?

  4. avatar
    Ray

    I am now a non eu citizen “they” took away my rights with Brexit. There are millions in the UK like me. Please investigate, debate, granting us citizenship if requested.
    Stop the utterly ridiculous and costly process of moving from Brussels to Strasbourg and then back to Brussels. This came up a lot before the referendum from brexiters.
    The EU does itself an injustice by not letting people what it has achieved and the benefits to citizens. You need to speak to the ordinary citizens, not just expect them to access the vast and complicated internet sources.

    • avatar
      Jan-Marten Spit

      Agree the Brussels/Strasbourg thing is ridiculous, but it does not appear at the top of urgent or even costly problems.

      “This came up a lot before the referendum from brexiters.”

      A lot of things “came up” that were not even remotely true, so what would be the point of addressing a minor issue – as if that would have changed their minds. We have bigger problems to solve than the UK’s return to feudalism – which has already happened. It is not unlikely the ensuing disaster will produce something good – poverty and a lack of food also triggered the French revolution. We need just wait.

  5. avatar
    Preben

    Fantastic question. It has been raised many times before but it remains a relevant one. The fact that the question is asked, speaks for itself. Europe needs to change for the better. I have a good few ideas myself. We have plenty of ideas. We need to make tough choices and make some crucial decisions.

  6. avatar
    Preben

    Brexit is not an issue. Not a topic.
    I have said this from the beginning.
    It’s up to the UK what they decide. The EU should make up its own mind, with or without the support of individual states. If they decide to do things differently, then that should be respected.

  7. avatar
    Casaluna

    Confederation of states based on the functioning model of Switzerland.

    • avatar
      Casaluna

      Possibility. One option. What works for one place might not work elsewhere. In comparison with the whole of Europe, Switzerland is rather small. There’s more money too. Less poverty and unemployment. However, it functions and I also believe we should learn from places where things seem to work. That would also require to adopt the Swiss culture, attitude, discipline and respect for each other ‘and’ the environment. Switzerland has always taken that very seriously.

    • avatar
      Casaluna

      Preben, Switzerland has 4 different languages, economical disparities between regions and provinces were only resolved through financial redistributions. The system works since 800 years and last thing, before Switzerland was dirt poor selling mercenaries to europeans kingdoms to make money.

  8. avatar
    Preben

    Not impressed by the responses of this MEP. He did not respond properly to the first and excellent question which made me less willing to hear the rest.
    I hope more people on Debating Europe will add value to this initiative.

  9. avatar
    Ali

    Equivalent status of respect amd openings for everyone without any discrimination of color at all level.

  10. avatar
    mudo

    Legalize and tax cannabis! Unified EU Army! Incentives for Hydrogen!

  11. avatar
    mudo

    Legalize and tax cannabis, build a unified EU army, provide incentives for technological development, manufacturing and hydrogen energy.

  12. avatar
    EU Reform Proactive

    It was 2001 when the European Commission first decided that the EU should have a single constitution. Are we witnessing another drafting attempt- channelled through “The Friends of Europe”/DE by the EU- which was previously code-named the “Penelope Project”?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penelope_Project

    Please note- despite acting “cool”: any treaty change is subject to Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).
    Its clause 6 “Simplified procedures” says:

    • “The Government of any Member State (& IGC), the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the European Council proposals for revising all or part of the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union relating to the internal policies and action of the Union.”

    • Why does the Merkel/Macron duo propose an intergovernmental conference now?

    • Did France & Germany genuinely & thoroughly assess the EU’s problems & consider its voters’ wishes? Could it have been bottom-up with all the C-19 scare & media silence? Is it once more one of “these EU (none) democratic habits”?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/12/06/france-germany-have-big-plans-eu-reforms-is-this-right-time/

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501769608407030

    • Are all other 26 govs’ equally ready for such conference & done their EU homework?
    • Were a majority of national voters informed, consulted or involved?
    • What is on the IGC’s agenda?

    My guess: Probably more EU not less & deeper EU integration (+ more complications, more laws) to achieve a sole EU State first, instead of focusing on the economy & security foremost.

    How dare a Member of the European Parliament seriously & lesser so the FoE/DE promote a different version than prescribed in TEU Article 48?
    To condone an “official” deviation from Article 48- calling it just an “open debate, with no taboos”- is disingenuous & confusing. Is that how the EU rule of law can be understood?

    Further, a proposed EU selected “Citizens’ Panel” aka “Citizens Council” (MEP- a 2nd pillar?) is unrepresentative of the 442 Mio- besides transgressing TEU Article 48.

    I consider this EU invitation a political privilege reserved not for voters but national politicians. It may create false hopes & exposes the EU’s multiplex concept by remaining boxed in by its many EU laws & EU directives.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_Union_directives

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