Writing for Euractiv, Kaspar Schultz, a citizen representative of Estonia to the Conference on the Future of Europe, explains how the whole CoFoE discussion is rigged, arguing:
“The Conference on the Future of Europe prides itself on giving as many participants as possible a chance to speak. Unfortunately, this horizontal nature of the debate eliminates meaningful discussion of Europe’s future”
He thereby describes the CoFoE plenary as “an assortment of pre-rehearsed speeches, overlapping and (self-)congratulatory statements”, noting “that is a far cry from the repeated pleas from co-chairs to discuss recommendations made by the citizens that were published before the conference and also summarized at the beginning of each debate.”
Importantly, he brings up the issue of transnational party lists, which is a top priority for EU-federalists. They are clearly very keen to use CoFoE as a vehicle to push for this.
According to Schultz, there is “no better example than transnational party lists for European Parliament elections to exemplify the dysfunction at the heart of the conference.”
He thereby writes that this idea “was just part of one recommendation made by the citizens” and laments how MEP Sandro Gozi, president of the Union of European Federalists and member of the Renew Europe group “explained his choice to focus just on the transnational lists by time limits, ignoring the fact that most politicians speaking on European democracy had somehow made the same, very specific choice.”
At the end, he sums up what CoFoE really is all about:
“Citizens have been reduced to picking a side in already existing debates to help break the deadlock on politically tense issues.”
As a member of the European democracy workgroup, I can find no better example than transnational party lists for European Parliament elections to exemplify the dysfunction at the heart of the conference.