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(DF) Webinar Discusses Proposals about Europe’s Future

November 19 (BTA) – A webinar held on Friday in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe provided an opportunity for Bulgarian MEPs, experts and journalists to try to influence the development of the European Union in the next few decades. The Conference provides digital space in which any European can share his or her ideas about the future of the EU and what needs to be changed. The opinions expressed via the platform of the Conference are analyzed and used in the work of citizens’ panels and at plenary meetings. The webinar was opened by Teodor Stoichev, head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Bulgaria, who summed up the ideas put forward by citizens, the proposals being considered by MEPs and the time limits for the whole process. European studies expert Ingrid Shikova said the future of European integration has always been on the agenda and has always been debated. Shikova said some of the proposals made via the platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe are to introduce a separate school subject on EU history and institutions, compile a single textbook on EU affairs to be used in schools throughout the bloc, create a common European language, and reduce the working week to four days. Other ideas include revising the economic model, ensuring fair taxation, and adopting an unconditional basic income for the whole EU. MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk said Europe needs to find its new raison d’etre. Noting the significant role of the media, Kyuchyuk thanked the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) for its effort to popularize the topic of the future of Europe. MEP Tsvetelina Penkova deplored the lack of understanding about the nature of European institutions and the way they function. “We cannot ask the public to make proposals about strategic development if it does not know how the EU works,” Penkova said. “I often have the feeling that officials speak in ‘Brusselish’. Their messages do not actually get to the people. This is so in many EU countries.” Alexander Milisov, one of the young Europeans participating in the citizens’ panels and the plenary meetings of the Conference, spoke about what “the perfect European” is like according to him and about the proposals of the younger generation concerning European democracy. RY/VE