Spain proposes that the next Conference on the Future of Europe should address new issues such as the development of European citizenship, greater participation of cities in the European project and special attention to sport and to territories suffering from disadvantages such as insularity or depopulation.
The idea was expressed yesterday by the State Secretary for the European Union, Juan González-Barba, during his participation by videoconference in the Council of General Affairs of the EU that brings together the 27 ministers of European Affairs, considering that all these issues “would increase the profile and relevance of the Conference”, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
González Barba highlighted, in particular, four areas of special interest for Spain: the development of European citizenship; the enhancement of the participation of cities in the European project; greater attention to sport in the construction of Europe; and greater attention to the disadvantages faced by the territories identified in Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU: island, sparsely populated, cross-border and mountain territories.
The meeting served to prepare the forthcoming informal videoconference of the members of the European Council and allowed for an exchange of views on coordination measures for the fight against the pandemic, the priorities of the Action Plan for Democracy and the state of EU relations with the United Kingdom.
The ministers supported efforts to increase vaccine production capacity, increase the pace of vaccination and strengthen the monitoring of SARS-COV-2 variants, as well as to ensure compliance with contracts.
They also discussed the measures adopted by the Member States on mobility, underlining the importance of coordinating these measures within the framework of the Recommendations adopted within the Council and of allowing the mobility of transporters and cross-border workers, guaranteeing the functioning of the internal market.
In this regard and given the costs associated with these restrictive measures, Spain considers, according to the Foreign Affairs communiqué, that they should be reviewed frequently to ensure their suitability.
González-Barba called on his colleagues to take advantage of the opportunity offered by vaccination to facilitate cross-border mobility by exploring the different avenues open to allow the recognition of vaccination certificates.