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Press Office

Athens, 21 January 2022

Third Plenary of Conference on the Future of Europe wraps up

The third plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe has concluded its work. Four Greek MPs participated in the meetings of the working groups which took place online on Friday the 21st of January and of the Plenary on Saturday the 22nd of January.

At the meeting of the working group on migration, the Chair Dimitris Kairidis, in his introductory remarks, stressed the need to manage migration through a predictable, balanced and reliable migration and asylum system, that will ensure the adoption of joint solutions on border management, cooperation with third countries, the fight against migrant trafficking, the protection of refugees and their social integration.

Mr Kairidis noted the three dominant trends prevailing among the positions presented on the conference’s e-platform: the need to take more effective action to control and reduce migration, greater solidarity and better integration processes and, lastly, an intermediate position, in favour only of promoting international mobility among economically developed democracies. Legal migration, the humanitarian dimension of migration, border control, tackling the root causes of migration, viewing migration as a threat and integration are themes that revolve around the three prevailing trends, said Mr Kairidis and called on participants, especially the representatives of the citizens’ panels to speak and take a stand.

At the meeting of the working group on European Democracy, Mr Ioannis Bournous emphasised the need to strengthen the European Parliament’s oversight role over the European Commission, which is not elected and acts as an alienated institution, using language that is perplexing even for the most informed citizens. He also noted that the pervasive feeling, regarding the functioning of the EU, is that the strong impose their will on the more weak, and this leads to the alienation of the citizens and intensifies the feeling of frustration in the smaller states. He referred to the disproportionate power exercised over the citizens by informal bodies, such as the Eurogroup, while he congratulated the citizens’ representatives for their recommendations both on strengthening their participation, as well as on the creation of a European ID and education on issues of Democracy. Lastly, he welcomed the proposal to create citizen assemblies, the decisions of which will be binding for the EU institutions and expressed his disappointment at the fact that the recommendation to create a pan-European media control system did not move forward, since economic-interests driven information weakens Democracy and breeds anti-democratic ideas and nationalist and racist stereotypes.

The working groups on digital transformation, with the participation of Mrs Marietta Giannakou, and of Education, Youth, Culture and Sports, with the participation of Mr George Papandreou, also held meetings.

The Conference concluded with the plenary session, during which Mr Bournous reiterated that there is a pressing need for accountability on behalf of the elected institutions of the EU and for citizen participation in the decision-making process, in order to restore trust in the institutions.



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