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Press Office

Athens, 17 May 2022

Meeting of European Parliament Committee on Constitutional Affairs on results of Conference on the Future of Europe

The Inter-Parliamentary Conference of the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO), which took place today via teleconference, was dedicated to the initial results of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which concluded its work on 9 May. The Hellenic Parliament was represented by MP Ioannis Bournous, member of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The Conference Co-Chair Guy Verhofstadt informed participants on the European Parliament’s intention to immediately launch the revision process of the Treaties on the European Union, in order to implement all 49 of the citizens’ final proposals, concerning strengthening EU competences, enhancing decision-making efficiency, the EPs legislative initiative, and the transparency and accountability of institutions. On behalf of the European Commission, Vice-President Dubravka Šuica made clear the Commission's intention to facilitate the process in every way possible, so that citizens feel that their proposals are being listened to, also receiving regular briefing on their implementation process. She stressed that legislation on EU energy autonomy and the European Health Data Space is already under way and that the Commission's work programme will swiftly adapt to the whole process, noting that citizens' panels will have a say before presenting legislative proposals. Last but not least, she stressed the important role of national parliaments in the process of strengthening participation of citizens and local communities.

Mr Bournous described the Conference as a process of no return, also stressing the need for immediate approval of all citizens' recommendations not requiring revision of treaties, as a sign of respect to the citizens, despite some Member States’ reservations on issues such as the abolition of unanimity on foreign policy and defence, which also affects Greece. He reminded that during the Conference, citizens expressed their desire for a more united, social and resilient Europe, a European Union that is accountable and builds on our common European identity, noting that if that calls for a revision of the Treaties, then this is the way to go. Closing, he expressed his conviction that any setbacks or endless negotiations would undermine the Union and strengthen citizen distrust and alienation towards European institutions.

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