European Citizens’ Panels of the Conference on the Future of Europe
In the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe, ENRF Secretary General, Dr Paul De Raeve, was invited as expert to share his knowledge and expertise with the citizens participating in the European Citizens’ Panel, on “Climate change, environment and health”.
The European Citizens’ Panels are a key feature of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Four European Citizens’ Panels are organised to allow citizens to jointly think about the future they want for the European Union. The EU’s sociological and geographic diversity is taking part in a deliberative process of three sessions to shape the future of the European project. The Panels will deliberate and formulate a set of recommendations for the Union’s three institutions to follow-up on.
The first session of the Panel on Climate change, environment and health took place on 1-3 October. The second session of the panel on “Climate change, environment and health” took place online 20-21 November 2021, with a specific focus on health and health research. For the second session the citizens focussed on five streams, chosen by the panellists at their first session in October.
- Better Ways of Living
- Protecting our Environment and Our Health
- Redirecting our Economy and Consumption
- Towards a Sustainable Society
- Caring for All
The ENRF Secretary General focussed on the theme of “Reinforce the healthcare system” which is part of the stream “Caring for all”. The session was extremely interactive building on the expertise of 6 experts. It was suggested by all experts that the EU should be proud of its “model of care”, which is holistic. A lot of questions related to the European Health Card by EU citizens when they move to another Member State temporally. Many questions related to ‘the different systems and the different approaches in the healthcare sector, which questioned the role of the EU in health. From a Health Research perspective, it was suggested focussing, especially now with the pandemic, on unmet needs, citizen’s needs, holistic needs, not just medical needs. Nursing research will be therefore key within Horizon Europe.
Furthermore, Paul stressed the importance of ‘we are not prepared, unless we are all prepared’, taking in account the lessons learned from both the Ebola and Covid19 crisis. It is key to focus on Violence against women. Against nurses. Nursing research will be key in the area of ‘care left undone’ and ‘violence-stigmatisation’.
It became clear from the 2 sessions (20 & 21/11) that, due to the COVID19 pandemic, health research becomes a top priority for the European Citizens.
We are now looking forward to the panel recommendations on health and health research and of course the uptake by the EU’s institutions as follow-up to the citizens recommendations.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is an unprecedented pan-European and multilingual democratic exercise. It is a unique and timely opportunity for European citizens to debate – among themselves as well as with the EU and national institutions, civil society, social partners and other stakeholders – on Europe’s challenges and have a say on the priorities for the years to come.
Multilingual Digital Platform – https://futureu.europa.eu
For more information regarding the Conference and Reports of all panels, visit: https://futureu.europa.eu/pages/panels.