Parliament for the Future of Europe
Prague, Czechia – 15 October 2023
The Parliament for the Future of Europe is our take on the Conference for the Future of Europe. Our aim is to bring together a diverse group of people from marginalized and underrepresented groups to the center of the debate. With our six partners we bring participants all across Europe to discuss and scrutinize the proposals of the historic Conference on the Future of Europe and reshape them to be more inclusive and meet the needs of vulnerable communities. Our 5th Citizen Panel took us to Prague, Czechia hosted by our local partner Forum 2000 on EU in the World on Sunday, 15 October 2023.
The Conference for the Future of Europe proposal on EU in the World starting on page 61 served as the basis of the discussion.
For questions, please contact our project manager, Daniela Vancic, at email@example.com
For questions regarding this specific event, please contact Veronika Skoupá at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find the new proposals below:
17. Proposal: Reducing dependency of EU from foreign actors in economically strategic sectors
Objective: The EU must continue taking measures to reduce its dependency from foreign actors in key strategic sectors such as agricultural products, strategic economic goods, semiconductors, medical products, innovative digital and environmental technologies and energy, through:
1. boosting research, development, innovation, and entrepreneurship activities and collaboration between public and private partners via e.g. digitalization of services. Promoting and rewarding successful collaborations for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Increase promotion of EU funded research programs such as Horizon Europe. Better alignment of research programs with the object of reducing dependency on key strategic sectors.
2. maintaining an ambitious trade negotiation agenda that can contribute to building resilience and diversification of supply chains, in particular for raw materials, while also sharing the benefits of trade more equally and with more partners, thereby limiting our exposure and dependency on a small number of potentially risky suppliers
3. increasing level of resilience of EU supply chains through fostering investment in strategic sectors in the EU, boosting technological capacities, stockpiling critical productions and devices and diversifying the supply sources and production chains of critical raw materials;
4. investing further in the completion of the internal market to keep products available and affordable to European consumers and reduce dependencies from outside, for example through the use of structural and regional policies, tax breaks, subsidies, infrastructure and research investments, boosting the competitiveness of SMEs
5. introducing and strengthening education programmes to keep related qualifications and jobs in Europe that are relevant to secure basic needs; creating and developing incentives for SMEs and key strategic sectors (especially IT, research, and medical) for talent to come to Europe, especially in Member States suffering from brain drain; introducing migration and employment policies for them to stay such as through expanding blue-card visa program; simplifying visa processes for those in key strategic sectors
6. European-wide programme to support small local producers from strategic sectors across all Member States, making greater use of the EU programmes and financial instruments, such as InvestEU.
7. improving cooperation between Member States, the European Economic Area, and external allies to handle the management of supply chain risks
8. reassessing and potential reforming of the Common Agricultural Policy, not only, but especially considering future EU enlargement to enhance food security
9. developing new data and high performance computing centers to enable digital development and innovation sectors, such as AI, to reduce the dependency on external data servers and protect data privacy
18. Proposal: Reducing dependency of EU from foreign actors in energy
Objective: We propose that the EU reach more autonomy in the field of energy production and supply, in the context of the ongoing green transition unreliable global supply by:
1. adopting a strategy to be more autonomous in its energy production. A European body should consolidate the existing European energy agencies and should coordinate the development of renewable energies and promote knowledge sharing.
2. actively supporting public transport and energy efficiency projects, a pan-European high-speed rail and freight network, the expansion of clean and renewable energy provision (in particular in solar and wind) and alternative technologies (such as hydrogen or waste-to-energy), as well as cultural change in urban settings from the individual car towards public transport, e-car sharing and biking. simplify the ticket system for intra EU travel. Subsidize public modes of travel. Develop a time effective network that is comparable (in time) to other forms of travel. Introduce negative incentive for Private Jets.
3. ensuring a just and fair transition, supporting in particular vulnerable citizens, who face the greatest challenges in transitioning towards climate neutrality and who are already suffering from increasing energy prices because of energy dependency: access to energy efficient housing through direct subsidy to citizens (non renewable), fair compensation with full pay to employees working in industries at risk/ impacted by energy transition while going through re-training for green energy sector.
4. increased collaboration around the assessment of the use of nuclear energy in the ongoing green transition to renewable energy in Europe, examining the collective issues that it could solve or create by introducing greater transparency and accountability, given that it is in being used by many member states. introduce a time frame on a decision.
5. engaging with international partners, committing them in attaining more ambitious goals to address climate change at different international fora, including G7 and G20.
6. linking foreign trade with climate policy measures (e.g.by launching an investment package for climate-friendly technologies and innovations, including funding programmes)
7. pursuing common purchases of imported energy and sustainable energy partnerships in order to reduce energy costs, specifically in the area of gas and oil and developing EU domestic sources of energy.
8. introduce the development of internal energy/gas/oil storage capacity to react to global supply shocks through already established EU institutions or mechanisms. introduce storage and distribution of access energy generated from renewables.
19. Proposal: Defining standards within and outside the EU in trade and investment relations
Objective: We propose that the EU strengthen the ethical dimension of its trade and investment relations through:
1. preserving and/or reforming our multilateral rules-based international trade architecture, and partnership with countries that respect the rule of law and human rights.
2. effective and proportionate EU legislation to ensure that decent work standards are fully applied along the global value chains, including EU production and supply processes and that goods which are imported comply with qualitative ethical standards, sustainable development, and human rights standards including workers’ and trade union rights, offering certification for products abiding by this EU legislation and engage in an EU wide dialogue process that seeks to inform and educate on the environmental and ethical effects of policy changes in international trade.
Additional comment: poor working condition included already in Measure 2
3. restrictions on the import and sale of products that contain materials and parts from countries that allow forced and child labour, and poor working conditions, a periodically updated blacklist of companies, and promoting consumer awareness on forced and child labour, and on poor working conditions through information made by official EU channels.
4. following up and enforcing Trade Sustainable Development chapters (TSD) in EU Free Trade Agreements (FTA) including the possibility of a sanctions-based mechanism as a last resort.
5. reforming the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) to include strong conditionality provisions and effective and appropriate monitoring, reporting and dialogue processes in order to improve the impact GSP can have on trade, human rights and development in partner countries with trade preferences to be withdrawn in case of non-compliance.
6. influencing the World Trade Organization to align it more with the EU values and promoting collaboration with EU and other external actors.
7. creating a system or program for ethical and sustainable products to be more affordable.
20. Proposal: Defining standards within and outside the EU in environmental policies
Objective: The environmental dimension of EU trade relations should be strengthened through:
1. harmonizing and strengthening eco-labelling and introducing a mandatory eco-score to be displayed on all products that can be bought by the consumer. The eco-score would be calculated according to emissions from production and transportation, as well as harmful content, based on a list of hazardous products. The eco-score should be managed and monitored by an EU authority24. Clear definition of rules of eco-friendly products, taking into consideration the supply chain in its complexity. Besides emissions and hazardous content, other aspects should be taken into consideration for the eco-score, including but not limited to: general environmental impact and sustainable practices. More thought should be given to the type, scope and level of the monitoring authority, e.g., placed at the WTO, or assign existing authority/supranational arm of the EU with this function or outsource the certification to existing quality certifying renown entities. The method and process of assessment should be open and transparent.
2. strengthening environmental standards for the export of waste and more stringent controls and sanctions to stop illegal exports. The EU should incentivize the Member States to recycle their own waste and use it for energy production25. Reduce the total amount of waste by reusing, recycling, continuing with efforts to boost environmentally friendly production designs and other waste-reducing policies.
3. setting a goal of eliminating polluting packaging by incentivizing countries to produce less packaging or more environmentally friendly packaging. Establishing partnerships with developing countries, supporting their infrastructure and with mutually favorable trade deals to aid them in the transition towards green energy sources26 27. Besides trade relations, investment policies should play a role in the same direction to enable these countries to develop capacities.
4. rewarding countries that apply high sustainability standards by offering them further access to the EU market for their sustainable goods and services, either unilaterally through the General System of Preferences GSP+, bilaterally through negotiated trade agreements, or multilaterally through initiatives in the World Trade Organisation. More weight should be given to eco-score when deciding about preferential tariffs. Linking foreign trade with climate policy measures (e.g. by launching an investment package for climate-friendly technologies and innovations, including funding programmes)
21. Proposal: Decision making and cohesion within the Union
Objective: We propose that the EU improve its capacity to take speedy and effective decisions, notably in Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), speaking with an uninamous voice and acting as a truly global player, projecting a positive role in the world and making a difference in response to any crisis, notably through:
1. taking the decisions about CFSP which are currently decided by way of unanimity with a qualified majority.
2. making use of the European Peace Facility fund and the Strategic Compass as common reliable tools in particular for cooperation in security and defense policy.
3. strengthening the role of the High Representative to ensure that the EU speaks with an unanimous voice.
4. agreeing on a strong vision and a common strategy to consolidate the unity and decision taking capacity of the EU in order to prepare the EU for further relationship building with other countries.
5. ratifying recently concluded trade agreements more promptly without excluding proper examination and discussion.
22. Proposal: Transparency of the EU and its relations with the citizens
Objective: We propose that the EU, in particular in its actions at the international level, including trade negotiations, improve its accessibility for citizens through better information, education, citizen participation, and transparency of its action, notably by:
1. the EU and its Member States must strengthen links with citizens and local institutions to improve transparency, reach all citizens and communicate and consult better with them about concrete EU initiatives and at the international level, through well-funded mechanisms.
2. the EU and its Member States must promote initiatives, similar to the Conference on the Future of Europe, organized on a national, local and European level with the active participation of organized civil society, in order to ensure stronger citizen participation in the EU's international politics. These initiatives must be inclusive, ensuring the fair participation of women, minorities and marginalized groups.
3. all relevant stakeholders must support the work of organized civil society organizations, in particular through financing.
4. the EU must allocate a specific budget to develop educational programmes on the functioning of the EU and its values and Member States must integrate them into their curricula (primary, secondary schools, and universities).
5. the EU must improve its media strategy by strengthening its visibility on all media platforms and actively promote its content. It must encourage innovation by promoting an accessible European social media.
6. in order to ensure transparency, the EU and its Member States cannot interfere in the investigative efforts of "3rd party" independent organizations in scrutinizing their actions and policies.
7. the EU must provide easier and more effective access to all its resources, such as grants, programs and information, in particular targeting young people, women, minorities and marginalized groups.
23. Proposal: The EU as a strong actor on the world scene in peace and security
Objective: We propose that the EU continue to act to promote dialogue and guarantee peace and a rules-based international order, strengthening multilateralism and building on long standing EU peace initiatives which contributed to its award of the Nobel Prize in 2012, while strengthening its common security through:
1. playing a leading role in building the world security order and stability building on the EU strategic compass with constant improvement and adaptation.
2. empower and pursue its strategic research in priority sectors such as the space sector, cybersecurity, the medical sector and the environment, sharing expertise while protecting security matters.
3. strengthening the operational capabilities necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the mutual assistance clause of Art. 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union, providing adequate EU protection to any member state under attack by a third country or suffering the consequences of natural catastrophes.
4. strengthening the operational capabilities necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the mutual assistance clause of Art. 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union, providing adequate EU protection to any member state under attack by a third country or suffering the consequences of natural catastrophes.
24. Proposal: The EU as a strong actor on the world scene in relationship building
Objective: We propose that the EU should play a stronger positive role in its relations with third countries promoting values of democracy, human rights, fair trade, just transition and international solidarity.
1. make greater use of its collective political and economic weight, speaking with one voice and acting in a unified way based on qualified majority decision. (problem with sovereignty, there is no one voice in EU)
2. strengthen its ability to sanction states, governments, entities, groups or organisations as well as individuals that do not comply with its fundamental principles, agreements and laws and ensuring that sanctions that already exist are quickly implemented and enforced. Sanctions against third countries should be proportional to the action that triggered them and be effective and applied in due time. Sanctions should not hurt civilians/the most vulnerable, we should make sure that sanctions specifically target authoritarian regimes and comply with fundamental principles. We should avoid collective punishment.
3. promote sustainable and rules-based trade while opening new trade and investment opportunities for European companies. While bilateral trade and investment agreements are key to promote European competitiveness, standards and rules are needed to ensure a level playing field. The EU needs to remain an active and reliable partner by negotiating, concluding and implementing trade agreements that also set high sustainability standard. This measure should include information on how to reach this goal.
4. encourage major international cooperation agreements that comply with the EU's fundamental values, laws, principles.
5. reform EU trade and investment policy to relaunch global multilateralism with as objectives the creation of decent jobs and the protection of fundamental human rights, including workers’ and trade union rights; the safeguarding of high-quality public services; and the strengthening of Europe’s industrial basis. The EU should contribute to a relaunch of global multilateralism, through a profound reform based on democracy and peace, solidarity and respect for human, social and environmental rights and a reinforced role for the ILO. EU trade and investment policy should keep in mind fundamental rights. It should be regularly monitored and reviewed that these practices not only look good on paper but in the entire supply chain (including subcontracts, etc.).
6. include in cooperation and investment agreement with third countries the fight against human trafficking and illegal immigration and cooperation with reference to any appropriate repatriations. EU should also not foster illegal migration, human trafficking itself.
7. sstablish partnerships with low to mid-income countries, supporting their infrastructure and with fair deals that comply with the principles of EU. Aid them in the just transition towards green energy sources with compensations for workers.
8. develop a more effective and unified policy towards autocratic and hybrid regimes and develop partnerships with civil society organisations in such countries in order to strengthen democratic participation and human rights.
9. the EU should share their resources (human and financial) and experience with democratic elections.
10. offer a credible accession perspective for candidate and potential candidate countries to foster peace and stability in Europe and bring prosperity to millions of Europeans.
 EU should follow the rules and principles itself as a protagonist and strengthen our own practices for greener transition, stronger protection of fundamental values and rights. Promote the values but not enforce it for other countries because it would have negative impact on poor countries. Recognize the EU's role in climate change and its negative and positive contributions to the environment. EU should encourage greener transition, but not establish such requirement for trade and investment.
 Reference to existing legal framework (according to Geneva convention, etc.)