It seems like nobody is actually happy with the whole “Conference on the Future of Europe”.
Polish MEP Ryszard Legutko pointed out that “it’s the Council, not the Parliament or the Commission that can convene such a conference”, further suggesting not “to deviate from what the Treaties have stipulated”, a rather unpopular thing to do in EU circles:
On this turn, Swedish MEP Charlie Weimers, warned:
“The goal is clear: to transfer more power to the EU. Such a transfer of power, however, lacks any kind of popular support.”
Spanish MEP Jorge Buxade went on to warn about the increasingly evident bias of the ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’, saying:
“If we start the debate by denying participation to other ways of seeing Europe, if this Parliament takes sides, this conference is born already mortally wounded.”
Also non-eurosceptics have expressed scepticism. For example Andras Baneth, the author of the Ultimate EU Test Book, the best-seller on EU exams for those seeking EU careers and a former Commission official with the Barroso commission) suggests to “just cancel the Future of Europe Conference”:
“No matter how hard they try to make these future-looking discussions citizen-driven, bottom-up, and representative of European society, the voices present will not speak for what the majority of Europeans want.
Why would a random, unrepresentative mix of civil servants, self-appointed opinion leaders, and vocal activists be the ones to decide where the EU should be heading?”
German green MEP Daniel Freund, who leads negotiations on the conference for his group, wasn’t a happy bunny either during the run-up to the conference, complaining in February that: “I am perplexed why the Council would seek to exclude certain political families from the key body of the conference … Restricting the agenda-setting in this way might risk the success of the conference.”
Also the “Brussels bubble” media isn’t too thrilled, as an editorial in Politico reads as follows:
“Macron’s grand idea for a Europe-wide discussion, the sort of thing that EU leaders often resist as a navel-gazing exercise, instead turned into a navel-gazing exercise about a navel-gazing exercise.
The outset of the coronavirus pandemic also removed some urgency from the project, as the prospect of a traveling troupe of Brussels officials, touring across 27 countries for a series of hours-long town hall meetings, suddenly seemed rather preposterous.”
Nobody really seems happy. Perhaps that should lead to a certain conclusion?