Foreign Ministry official takes part in launch of EU future conference

Ljubljana – Foreign Ministry State Secretary Gašper Dovžan took part in what is considered the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, as the conference executive board held a constitutive meeting on Wednesday.

Tasked with overseeing the work of the conference, the board comprises representatives from the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission. Dovžan participated as a representative of the Council, as Slovenia is to take over the EU presidency in July.

The online meeting was intended for introductory presentations and exchange of opinions on the conference’s work, presentation of basic principles of the board’s work and the concept of an interactive multilingual digital platform, which is to feature proposals by citizens and play a vital role in the project, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

The meeting agreed that the conference was a unique project putting citizens first and allowing them to be heard. The launch comes nearly a year after it was intended to start on 9 May 2020. Initially is was intended to run for two years but its duration has been halved, as conclusions are expected by spring next year.

The conference will be led by the heads of the European Commission, the EU Council and the European Parliament, which means that Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Janša will be a part of it leadership in the second half the year during Slovenia’s EU presidency.

The conference was promised to the European Parliament by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in order to gain its support after member states ignored the system of leading candidates in the Commission president appointment process. Member states have not been enthusiastic about the conference.

They fear that the conference might change the balance of power, shifting the power from the member states to the Parliament.