The Future of EU: Stronger Common European Policy and Creation of European Army?

EU | October 16, 2021, Saturday // 20:09|  views

A stronger common European policy, the creation of a European army and common European embassies are among the ideas proposed by European citizens participating in the last meeting of the first Citizens' Council of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The meeting is being held in the European Parliament in Strasbourg with the participation of nearly 200 citizens from the 27 member states of the European Union, including six Bulgarians.

Many of the citizens' proposals are related to the current activities of the union, said in the discussion Federica Mogherini, former High Representative for Foreign Affairs and former Vice President of the European Commission. She supports the idea of ​​setting up a European Diplomatic Academy to train future union diplomats. According to Mogherini, the challenges facing the EU are related to consensus in common decision-making, a balanced policy towards China, as well as the enlargement of the union. It is in our interest and moral duty to move to the reception of the countries of the Western Balkans, she stressed and added that the young generation has a strong interest in joining.

Most Bulgarian participants in the civil panel told BTA that Bulgaria should be part of the Schengen area. Some of them want the EU to have its own army. According to Nelly Doncheva, in addition to a single currency, the EU must have its own language, similar to the artificial international language Esperanto. Most Bulgarian representatives at the conference also demanded a uniform standard of living in all member states of the union.

"The European Union in which I would like to live is a union of equality, a union in which the classes of Germany and Bulgaria should be equalized, people should feel safe and stay in their home countries. I would like to see a strong European army and to raise the standard of living so that Bulgaria can be at a decent European level," Krassimir Zlatinov, the youngest Bulgarian representative at the conference, told BTA.

"I would like to live in a united European Union, with equal rights for all its citizens, because at the moment I believe that not everyone has the same status and standard of living," Desislava Simeonova told BTA. "The topic of migration largely affects Bulgaria, because of the many depopulated places in the country. Many of our friends and relatives live in Western European countries and I really want all countries in the union to have a common standard of living, not to feel like poor people from Eastern Europe," she added.

"My dream for Europe is to be more of a union, not just a grouping of 27 countries," Jos de Vries of the Netherlands told BTA. "We have to cooperate, we have to listen to each other. We come from different countries - different history and different start and that is part of the problem. We have to look at each country as equal," he added. In the discussions, Jos, who works in the healthcare system, raised the issue of raising healthcare standards - not only for the Netherlands, France and Germany, but also for Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

The work of the Civic Panel continues with group discussions. The ideas and proposals will be summarized and included in the final report of the conference, which will be presented in the spring of 2022.

The second sessions of the Citizens' Councils will be organized online in November, and the third - in December and January in various EU cities (Warsaw, Dublin, Florence, Maastricht).

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Tags: europe, army, policy, future


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