Press release: for immediate release

Statement on the occasion of Europe Day (9 May)

As Chairman of ‘The Reflection Group on the Future of the European Union’ of the European Parliament Former Members Association (FMA), I welcome the official inauguration of the Conference on the Future of Europe on Europe Day 2021.

We support the call to all citizens of the EU to actively participate via the online platform that was launched on 19 April.

The Conference provides a unique opportunity to engage in reflection and to stimulate dialogue about the future of Europe in an open and inclusive way. As the FMA, we are also happy and willing to contribute, given our members’ expertise and experience, and the fact that we represent the institutional and political memory of the only institution that is directly elected by European citizens.

We are concerned about possible capture of the reflection process by short-term political gains and the narrow time frame. Instead, we believe that the Conference should be open-ended but with a clear plan for the follow-up to its conclusions.

We believe that the Conference should concentrate on broad questions related to European integration: on how the EU can be more efficient, how the EU can increase its capacity to act and how the EU can deliver what citizens expect, without excluding the possibility of treaty change.

We also hope that some interinstitutional questions, such as the future of the so-called Spitzenkandidaten, will be settled and that lessons will be learnt from the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The FMA Reflection Group on the Future of the European Union is composed of eminent and experienced Former Members of the European Parliament and assembled for the first time on 22 April to launch its discussion about the Conference on the Future of Europe.


Hans-Gert Pöttering
President of the FMA
Former President of the European Parliament