The Conference on the Future of Europe is going rather unnoticed in the Spanish public opinion, however, Spain is one of the Member States that most needs, at present, the support of the European Union and to which, at the same time, the EU is helping the most, as can be seen from the distribution of the Recovery Plan, since we receive almost 20% of the total. That is to say, Spain is going to receive 140 billion of the 750 billion euros in addition to other aid to curb unemployment. And, in relation to our population or our income, less than 10% would correspond.
The recent special Eurobarometer on the Conference on the Future of Europe establishes that 71% of Europeans are in favor of it. This aspect coincides with the Spanish position, where 70% of Spaniards are in favor. However, when asked if they would participate in the CoFoE, only 41% answered in the affirmative, while 51% of Europeans would participate if they were called, despite the fact that Spain is usually one of the most pro-European countries and at least a quarter of the EU states are clearly Eurosceptic.
These figures are striking when we are one of the countries that is benefiting most from European decisions and, therefore, one of the countries that most need the Conference on the Future of Europe to implement the necessary reforms to ensure that this distribution of income continues to work, consolidating the European Welfare State and the rights of European citizens.
The Conference is the beginning of the reform process which, taking into account that it will require the extension of competences and the reform of the decision-making process, as stated in the Spanish External Action Strategy, recently approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will imply the convening, after the end of the CoFoE in the spring of 2022, of the European Convention and the Intergovernmental Conference.
The end of this process, established in Article 48 of the TEU, will lead to the approval of a new European Treaty which, possibly, will coincide with the V Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023. In such a way that, for the first time, the signing of a treaty can take place in a Spanish capital and, therefore, it will bear its name. Up to now no Treaty of the European Union bears the name of a Spanish city, all of them have been Paris, Rome, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, Lisbon .....
Moreover, this deepening is obeying the interests and values of all the Spanish political forces, social partners and even the Autonomous Communities where, on these major issues of deepening, a great consensus has existed until now and continues to exist at present. We must not forget that in this respect all the Spanish political forces are voting in the same direction and the same can be said both in the European Economic and Social Committee and in the Committee of the Regions.
Francisco Aldecoa Luzárraga
President of the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement