*This Policy Brief is the result of an Honours project at Maastricht University entitled “The Conference on the Future of Europe: ‘a new push for European democracy’?” led by Prof. Vanhoonacker-Kormoss
(Deze beleidsnota is alleen beschikbaar in het Engels)
Simon Berke, Ilayda Lara Çavaş, Carolina Leon Santiago, Kai Mütschele (2023)
Policy Brief No. 01/2023
When the European Union (EU) held the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) from May 2021 to May 2022, citizens certainly had a lot to discuss – from the lessons learned in health policy from the ongoing Covid-pandemic over the efforts in fighting climate change to a changing geopolitical environment. Yet, while many studies have been concerned with what was talked about, we were more interested in the nature of citizens’ discussions. The CoFoE – and in particular its four citizens’ panels – was a first supranational experiment of deliberative democracy and an innovative approach to address concerns over the EU’s democratic deficit. In taking such a perspective, this Policy Brief presents the results of five semi-structured interviews conducted in the spring of 2022 and evaluated based on a set of ideal-theoretical criteria for good deliberation. Our analysis leads to a set of five proposals for improvement of the CoFoE’s process, which are put forth for consideration in any future citizens’ deliberations of a European scale.
CoFoE, citizens, democracy