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What is the EU Convention

We need a Convention to deliberate on proposals for improving EU democracy, because:

  • The Convention is the only legal means of achieving substantive changes to the EU Treaties (according to Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty), and
  • It is the only forum in the EU that offers a more open and democratic way of making major decisions, in contrast the usual closed-door politics.

For a new Convention to develop the best proposals for securing democracy, solidarity and sustainability in Europe, the entire process must have:

  • Maximum democratic legitimacy, including representatives from civil society, and/or representatives directly elected by European citizens
  • Sufficient time for serious and thorough deliberation
  • Transparent meetings that are open to the public
  • Participatory mechanisms that allow citizens and organised civil society to give inputs and to contribute to the proceedings
  • A European referendum at the end to give citizens the chance to vote on the proposals.

Read our background information on the Convention here.

EU democracy reforms

We need a true democratisation of the EU, and the citizens must have the right to influence major European questions – not only at the national level. Democratic reforms that are crucially needed in the EU include:

Democratic rules and institutions

  • The European Parliament must have full legislative rights and transnational elections
  • The Council should become a second chamber
  • The Commission should be elected by the European Parliament

Transnational participatory and direct democracy

  • A powerful European citizens’ initiative right
  • European-level referenda on constitutional questions
  • Innovative forms of direct democracy, including popular legislation with three stages (agenda-setting initiative, citizens' initiative, referendum)

Decentralisation of competences

  • To avoid overlapping competences
  • To take decisions as closely as possible to the citizens


It is time for an EU Convention to open up a debate that includes all Europeans. It’s now time to build a Europe of and for the citizens.

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