Conference on Europe’s future to begin in France

A new conference addressing Europe’s future will begin in the French city of Strasbourg on Sunday following months of preparation.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who called for a debate on reforming the European Union (EU), is due to give a speech at the opening of the event, reports dpa news agency.

The conference is due to run until spring 2022 and is to involve citizen dialogues, with the aid of a platform online.

Some 20 leaders throughout Europe, including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, called on Europeans to get involved.

The pandemic has highlighted the “strengths of European integration, but also its weaknesses,” Steinmeier said in his appeal.

“We need to talk about all of that,” he added.

The event coincides with Europe Day, marked on May 9.

The conference was initially due to start one year ago, but was postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

EU institutions have also spent months debating the aims of the conference.