The just-launched Conference of the Future of Europe must “establish a Union fit for purpose” in a world increasingly driven by authoritarian and “big beast attitudes,” Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chair for the conference told its opening plenary session Saturday. Representatives from all three European Union institutions said the EU’s much-touted democratic renewal project marked a time to reach out to citizens across the continent to “define a new vision for Europe’s future,” as the EU faces up to global challenges.