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Press Office

22 October 2021

Preparatory meetings of Conference on Future of Europe plenary, 22 October 2021, Strasbourg

In the framework of the Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe, today in Strasbourg, meetings of the working groups were held with the participation of Greek MPs.

In the meeting of the Working Group on migration, the Chairman Dimitris Kairidis stressed that the issue of migration is one of the most charged and, possibly, divisive issues of the Conference, due to the number of opposing views expressed. For this reason, Mr Kairidis proposed to divide the theme of migration into three subcategories:

1. The possible setting up of a common European mechanism of legal migration, including integration and citizenship policies

2. Tackling irregular migration, which presupposes better border security  and strengthening the role of Frontex, as well as better care for countries of origin of migrants, in order to have a better handle on uncontrollable flows.

3. A more effective asylum policy, on the basis of respect for international conventions and human rights, of addressing illegal trafficking networks and a the possible future updating of the Geneva Convention, as well as the strengthening of solidarity and a just mechanism of burden sharing between member states.

At the meeting of the working group on education, culture, youth and sports, the chair, the representative of the European Youth Forum Silja Markkula, referred to the contributions recorded on the multilingual digital platform on the specific theme, which can be categorised as follows: promotion of common EU identity, life-long learning, youth mobility within the EU, addressing youth unemployment and promoting and high-lighting European culture.

In the working group on digital transformation, members outlined the issues that should concern them, such as, inter alia, the digitisation of the common market, cybersecurity, protection against external threats, misinformation and online hate speech, technological dependence on the US and China, digital education and health, open data and their security, the possibility of telework within the EU. Particular reference was made to the need for the new digital technologies to be accessible to all, otherwise, instead of Democracy being strengthened within the Union, it will be weakened.

Issues of representation, information, misinformation and common values were discussed in the group on European Democracy. In his intervention, Mr Bournous stressed that the financial crisis in the Eurozone, the way it was addressed and the huge impact on the lives of the citizens, as well as the absence of solidarity between member states regarding the refugee and migrant crisis, which burdened the EU’s outside borders, have increased the lack of trust felt by citizens towards the Union’s institutions. He also argued that for the EU to survive it must start to operate as a Union of common responsibility and that the citizens are showing the way, by proposing, inter alia, the direct election of the President of the Commission, more legislative powers for the European Parliament and better forms of representation.

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