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


74 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

  13. avatar
    Nikolaos

    You make all the south cantrys poor and miserable,because you mast give more money to peoples,

  14. avatar
    Olivier

    I don t want this Europe which mainly serve German multinational and banks I want a union which will serve nations of European peoples and protect us from unfair competition illegal migrations…

  15. avatar
    Karolis

    Certainly not communist or socialist.

  16. avatar
    George

    Europe is only viable for multinational companies and illegal immigrants, thanks to the EU. Truly becoming a dystopia.

  17. avatar
    Tom

    I expect you to defend the rights of our citizens, imprison sleazy bankers who are responsible for the crash of our economy, take their money and give it back to the people, by investing in social care programs and supporting small business owners.

  18. avatar
    Pierre

    Break the EU and the Euro please.For a better future, less technocracy.

  19. avatar
    Kiril

    The UE is becoming so big and influential to people’s lives that it’s becoming a problem on its own.

  20. avatar
    Fred

    The only good EU is the dead EU !

  21. avatar
    Fred

    EU is not the solution ; EU is THE problem !

  22. avatar
    Danielle

    helemaal geen Europa ,gewoon zoals voor europa

  23. avatar
    Andy

    Roronoa Zoro, is that you being lost again?

  24. avatar
    Damien

    why are so many people pessimistic about EU ? and why so many in those comments ?

  25. avatar
    Vincent

    It’s only for trade they said.And our currency lost near half it’s value.It is for more order and structure they said.And all nations lost their sovereignity, obeying the banking cartels.Now they obey the farma cartels.It’s for our own health they said.There have never been as much chronic ill people.

  26. avatar
    Vladislav

    We want a free EU with sovereing countries with an active constitution free of foregn powers

  27. avatar
    Greetje

    A Europe 2.0 where we start over with only a few country’s with the same values and norms. Create a base set of laws and financial requirements, set a clear path and goals. Then and only then start to consider adding new countries. In case they want to join, they will first have to enact and apply the same laws, get finances into the desired state.

  28. avatar
    Nacho

    More economic integration, less political integration.

  29. avatar
    Yvonne

    I like this Debating Europe site on facebook..it gives me an opertunity to make a comment on the current issues being debated in the EU at this present time..thank you for that. I suppose it would be great to 1. debate constantly more issues please.2. to have an indicater gageing the response of other EU viewers and commentaters…example a pie chart graphic (we have one on Journal.ie they ask questions about government policies )..its a great way to see how your thinking is in line with others/or not !.. but its anonomose which is great (a way of secret voting).3.a report on wheather suggestions have been received ..and possibly acted upon. 4.Maybe a list of upcoming debates , before they happen , so you could have time to reflect and ponder the issues. Anyway good job love the site…. keep posing the questions. Greetings from Ireland ☘

  30. avatar
    Yvonne

    On the issue of changing the EU..well now is that realy possible!! i suppose thats down to our elected representatives there already..they understand the system they are working in already..its a huge organisation ..it must be difficult to stand out and be heard..unless its a life or death situation!! debating the issue and then having a democratic vote is the only anwser but it must ,in my humble oppinion be a secret ballot vote…. with vote s being counted by an independant body..thanks

  31. avatar
    Casaluna

    Take the working exemple of Switzerland !

    • avatar
      Giovanni

      Casaluna Poppi I would not like to have the EU on Switzerland model, neutral, passive to everything except when it comes to financial interest or bank secret.

    • avatar
      Casaluna

      This is due to the geopolitical context even if what we have now for an EU is worse.

  32. avatar
    Velleman

    er zo rap mogelijk van tussen gaan het is gewoon een grote luchtbel dat de burger veel geld kost on enkele hun zakken goed te vullen dus blaas de boel op

  33. avatar
    Kenneth

    I have seen a thousand’s, (maybe more) Europeaan documentery’s and lot other ones.. (the consequences of injustice, (DW Documentary) “i relate to..” what was great and shock! i am apart of something so good.. so humane, smart, but their is a lot of space for improvement, the only thing, i really want, is equal society, and equal living, for everybody!! and we all can benefit from it.. not just the ones who are privileged, or the strong ones, or smart ones, or the biggest and the best, and the cheapest, or are keeping society apart.. we know in the modern times. What people want, and makes them happy, (freedom, and choice) why not give it to everybody.. and be revolutionary and something that’s never been done before, look at the history of America keeping up their capitalism and nearlly destroyed human race, and killing humans, for money.. and keep consuming this planet.. when there are many more ways to try, and being pro humane for humans and planet, that is the Europe i know!!

  34. avatar
    Serguei

    Just stop EU project…it is the best future for Europe

  35. avatar
    Frank

    Just let them all resign, problem solved!!!

  36. avatar
    Frank

    Because , even if you want the people assume that you care, you don’t given a fu…..

  37. avatar
    Leo

    om te beginnen de extreem linkse bende van klausje , die ons in’t verderf stort , … weg damit !

  38. avatar
    Pascal

    EU doesn’t need to set policy for each member state. It’s not an empire, it’s a union.

  39. avatar
    Gaston

    Thank you for organising a european health service.

  40. avatar
    Robert

    how ? just show me where is the exit…..

  41. avatar
    Kendrick

    i dont believe in santaclaus

  42. avatar
    Pat

    Les vendu vont discuter de leur avenir, a quand un référendum pour ou contre la poubelle ue

  43. avatar
    Vita

    i would change it by dismantle it , why? because it’s doesn’t work, the european union is a joke

  44. avatar
    Chris

    I would end it right away, it cost us money and we get nothing in return.You’ve spent the last years only bullying the UK. People like Verhofstadt first ruined Belgium and is now on course to do the same with Europe.We’ve lost our Flanders because of the extremists, we’re loosing the continent worldwide due to all of your ego’s. A seat in the union pays extremely well, that’s the only reason why it exists.

  45. avatar
    Danielle

    door meer met europeese dingen bezig zijn dan met buiten europeese zaken die geen mens intresseert

  46. avatar
    Philippe

    Nous devons sortir de l’UE, de la zone euro et de l’Otan. C’est la dictature. Les peuples n’ont jamais souhaité cette organisation mafieuse.

  47. avatar
    Marian

    ze zouden beter uit elkaar gaan er nergens geen eenheid meer elk land word gedwongen

  48. avatar
    Peter

    The EU comes out with different agenda’s to make money to sustain the unelected members to tax the European States while their citizens are suffering they use the tax payer’s money to sponsor invalid agenda’s for different organisations

  49. avatar
    Johan

    I would have it real democratic and realy protecting human rights inside de EU, not only in words towards other countries

  50. avatar
    Steve

    Sadly said. I would dismantle it and only keep import/export of goods active. L ets face it, taxes,obligations, rules that no one wants… And in this time of covid they showed they are not united at all nor help their members in case of financial problems or even security… ‍♂️ In other words they create more issues than solutions, without speaking about what it all costs in exhorbitant salaries…

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