Type of initiative
Short description of the initiative
In March 2022, 62 young people aged between 18 and 25 met in the Parliament of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation to discuss the theme “What future for Europe?”. They were practically all French-speaking Belgians and came from diverse backgrounds.
On the first day, the young people heard the speech of the president of the assembly Rudy Demotte, as well as the presentations of two university professors, specialists in European issues, Nathalie Brack for the ULB and Louis le Hardÿ de Beaulieu for the UCLouvain. They then listened to Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul, one of the organizers of the Conference on the Future of Europe for the European Commission. The speakers made a point of expressing themselves in a clear language, accessible to all, which aroused the interest of the young audience and encouraged the emergence of many questions.
On the second day, in the morning, collective intelligence techniques were used to organize workshops. They have created a great dynamic and encouraged speaking out, including among the most reserved. In the afternoon, it was in plenary session, in the hemicycle, that the 62 young citizens met, to summarize the morning’s activities, but also to vote on each of the texts corresponding to the themes previously identified, the together forming the “Declaration on the future of Europe”.
Main features of the initiative
The PFWB has decided to participate in this Conference through the organization of a citizen participatory event. “What future for Europe?” was structured around four themes:
- What Europe means to me
- What I propose so that Europe is close to me
- What I concretely expect from Europe
- What I would like Europe to carry as values
Role of the assembly in the success of the initiative
The President and the Bureau of the Parliament supported the participation of the PFWB in the Conference on the future of Europe through the organization of this citizens’ assembly.
MEPs from each political group spoke with the young audience. They attended the final vote on the entire text, during the day on Saturday.
European orientation of the initiative
The Declaration on the Future of Europe was adopted by 47 yes, 11 no and 4 abstentions. It was sent to the 94 parliamentarians of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and posted on the Internet platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe, along with the other contributions.
A report on the work of the citizens’ event “what future for Europe?” was presented to the plenary session of the FWB Parliament and the Conference on the Future of Europe.
This event is a perfect example of participatory democracy which aims to better involve citizens in political life.