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European Commission historically pronounces its support for a European Convention to reform the EU Treaties

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European Commission historically pronounces its support for a European Convention to reform the EU Treaties


On 14 September 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered her third State of the Union address, which comes at a crossroads between the war in Ukraine and its many consequences and four months after the conclusion of the yearlong Conference on the Future of Europe. The European Commission historically declared its position in favour of a European Convention, joining the European Parliament, who, for the first time in history, officially called for a Convention with its resolution on 9 June 2022 [1]. This is a highly welcomed development by Democracy International and civil society partners of Citizens Take Over Europe who this week published its expectations for the State of the Union address. The President’s commitment to a European Convention reflects both the will and expectations of civil society as well as citizens who expressed “re-opening the discussion on a European Constitution” in the Conference on the Future of Europe’s Citizens’ Panel 2 (recommendation 35) and in the final Conference report (proposal 39.7).



According to Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty, to convene a Convention for the revision of the Treaties, the European Council must now decide by simple majority whether or not to convene a Convention, which will be expected at the next European Council meeting 20-21 October. By joining both the European Parliament and European Commission in their support for a European Convention, the promise to European democracy will finally be realised by all EU institutions.

Daniela Vancic, European Programme Manager at Democracy International states:

"The Commission’s stance in favour of Treaty change via a Convention is a highly positive and welcome position as the Conference on the Future of Europe has made clear that citizens and civil society call for democratic reform of the EU. It establishes a strong signal and impetus, and it leverages citizens’ wishes for European democracy ahead of the decisive European Council meeting. For these institutional positions to take shape, a roadmap to the Conference follow-up and to a European Convention needs to be developed with tri-institutional support."

Vancic adds: “Additionally, it is highly welcome that President von der Leyen promises that the European Citizens’ Panels will become a regular feature of our democratic life, and we look forward to further details on how this will be implemented at EU level.

The Commission President furthermore announced that a number of legislative proposals will stem from the Conference conclusions, including a new initiative on mental health. We regret that no further details have been provided regarding the future of the multilingual Digital Platform or regarding the Conference’s citizens’ feedback event planned for December 2022, including how it will hold EU institutions accountable to following up to Conference outcomes.

The State of the Union speech addressed the need for renewing the European promise. The Commission, alongside the European Parliament, has demonstrated political leadership and political courage in committing to European democracy with a view towards the future to ensure that Europe meets the needs of the 21st century. The European Council must now demonstrate its leadership and courage in responding to the will of the citizens by joining both the European Parliament and European Commission in its clear call for a European Convention.






Read more about Democracy International’s positions regarding a Convention here.

For questions, contact:

Daniela Vancic,, +49 221 669 66531

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