Ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty and in the context of growing disaffection toward the European project, EU’s cities and regions have pledged to shoulder their share to achieve greater involvement of the citizens in shaping a new path for the Union. Following a debate on Europe’s future with a delegation of 200 young Europeans, members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) on Thursday adopted a resolution marking the launch of an extensive citizens’ consultation process on “Reflecting on Europe” throughout the EU. The outcome of this wide-ranging initiative will feed into the CoR’s contribution to the upcoming political discussions on the future of the Union.
Opening the debate in plenary session, CoR President Markkula stressed that, “In todays challenging times, anniversaries such as the 60 years of the Rome Treaty and the 25 years of the Maastricht Treaty should be an opportunity to have an honest debate about Europe. But the time has come to go beyond talking and listening: we have to act. We want action and we want it now. This is what people, including the younger generations, want from Europe and what we wanted to signal with today’s ‘youth amendment’. We need a European Union where citizens feel their voice really counts and individuals feel safe to follow their dreams. We want to rebuild a European Union for and with the citizens “.
Thanks to a close cooperation with the European Youth Forum and the Model European parliament , the debate on the future of Europe greatly benefitted from the ideas and opinions of about 200 young Europeans who actively took part to the plenary work. Their participation follows up from the “youth citizens’ dialogue” on “how to rebuild trust in the EU with the help of regions and cities” that was organised during the Youth Opinion Festival ( YO!Fest ) on 7 February in Maastricht with CoR’s representatives from all political parties.
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