Conferenza sul futuro dell'Europa (precedentemente Assemblea sul Futuro dell'Europa)

Prime indicazioni su sta famosa assemblea sul futuro dell'Europa proposta da quel furbetto franco-sciovinista di Macron.

Il carattere bottom-up è contro-bilanciato dalla rappresantanza - sembrerebbe prevalente - di MEP e forze sociali. Segnalo, tra gli altri organismi, il coinvolgimento del Comitato delle Regioni.

Qui nel recap della NL di Politico.

CONFERENCING THE FUTURE 

EVEN HIGH AMBITION REQUIRES STRUCTURE: The planned Conference on the Future of Europe “must be a bottom-up exercise where European citizens are listened to and their voices contribute,” leaders of the European Parliament’s political groups will state later today, according to the latest draft document set to be adopted at a meeting. But as a good European project, that “bottom-up” exercise needs a very good dose of bureaucracy around it.

Let’s have a look into the document, the brain-child of Parliament’s working group on the conference project. It’s hot off the presses, having been finalized late Wednesday, pre-dated to today, and seen by Playbook.

CITIZENS ARE INVITED TO SPEAK UP … Regular folks — not just anybody, but a number of people meticulously selected in order for them “to be representative”  of the EU on the basis of geography, gender, age, socio-economic status and level of education, will be able to participate in a format called “citizens’ agora.” An EU president will provide them with excuse notes: “Arrangements should be made to ensure that all citizens participating in the conference can be supported in terms of a contribution to travel and accommodation costs and, where appropriate, authorised leave of absence from their workplace.”

… But politicians — strictly on the higher level — are the deciders: The conference “plenary” is made up of representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and national parliaments, the document says. (The economic and social committee, the Committee of the Regions and EU-level social partners will have their delegates too.) It is that body of EU professionals that will issue “final conclusions” in 2022, according to Parliament’s plans.

No, not for you, what were you thinking! Mayors or city councillors, on the other hand, will find themselves banned from either format — because they’re neither MEPs nor ministers or national MPs, but nonetheless are elected politicians. “Criteria should be defined to guarantee that elected politicians … cannot participate in citizens’ agora,” the document reads. After all, they’ve got their own ways to voice concerns and ideas, haven’t they?

MEPs FIRST: “Strict parity will be ensured between the European Parliament, on one hand, and the Council and national parliaments on the other” in the plenary, the document says — hence half of the seats will be reserved for MEPs. While the document foresees a “maximum 135” MEPs participating, it limits representatives from national parliaments to “2 to 4 members” for each of the EU’s (soon to be) 27 countries.

Doing the maths: That’s between about 54 and 108 MPs from across the EU, with the rest of the plenary filled up with members of 27 national governments. Note that the “representation of the Council must be at ministerial level,” as the document modestly decrees.

Decisions, we said? Oh yes: “The three EU institutions commit to a genuine follow-up … with legislative proposals, initiating treaty change or otherwise,” the Parliament draft says, mentioning that nasty, much-feared t-word. Handle the treaties with care, as many if not most in Council would say.

POMPOUS TITLES: Look at this beauty. “High-level Patronage will be ensured by the three institutions at the highest level, by the Presidents of the European Parliament, of the European Council and of the European Commission. This High-Level Patronage will have a role of guarantee of the process and patronage. The High-Level Patronage will kick off the Conference process and provide for its oversight all through its works until its final meeting.”

So where’s that new top job? Plenty of EU egos will be accommodated, according to Parliament’s plans. There’s a whole array of bodies, formats and organs at the different levels of the conference. Other than the aforementioned citizens’ platform and the plenary, there are “at least two youth agora,” one to be held “in the beginning of the Conference and one towards the end.” There’s also an “Executive Coordination Board,” a “Steering Committee,” and a secretariat.

And won’t all of these need a boss? A chair, president, speaker, chief rapporteur, relateur, pen-holder, patron saint, secretary-general, or otherwise?

So here’s the real fight du jour: The top of the structure — the presidents of the three Brussels institutions — and the aforementioned steering committee (two levels below them), are both, as such, pretty uncontroversial in Parliament. But there’s a fight brewing over who’ll oversee the in-between level — the executive board.

Where did Guy Verhofstadt’s job go? One idea is to have 10 people on that executive board: three from centrist groups in Parliament, the three commissioners who are somewhat responsible (Dubravka Šuica, Maroš Šefčovič, and Vĕra Jourová) and three ministers from the Council troika of presidencies in charge during the conference), with Sassoli presiding over them as primus inter pares. But that’s not going to please Renew Europe — which claims ownership of the idea, via Macron — or its former leader.

da quello che leggo la direzione dell’assemblea sarà in mano solo a politici ( certo con alti patrocini) i cittadini selezionati si esprimeranno in agorà separate che poi riferiranno in assemblea plenaria , anche numericamente i politici saranno di piu e soprattutto mi sembra di capire che saranno solo i politici a stendere le conclusioni!. e questo è veramente grave. Domanda  ma noi, unendoci anche con altre associazioni come è stato fatto per la lettera che richiede  pari informazione per le iniziative dei cittadini, non potremmo fare pressione soprattutto su quest’ultimo punto . Ci vogliono dei rappresentanti delle agorà dei cittadini che avvallino le conclusioni 

Questo il Documento approvato dal PE https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2019/644202/EPRS_BRI(2019)644202_EN.pdf

La triangolazione tra PE, Commissione e Consiglio lascia ancora molto spazio sul tipo di coinvolgimento riservato ai cittadini.

"

Preparation of the Conference, in von der Leyen's approach, will follow three steps: first, the elaboration of the concept, structure, timing and scope with Parliament and Council; then, design of a means to ensure that citizens participate as much as possible, including by fostering online participation for younger people; and last, making sure that appropriate follow-up is provided to the actions agreed by the Conference.

The Parliament has created a working group to contribute to the design of the Conference, in particular in respect of its structure, with a view to a vote in plenary. Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) has also launched discussions, confirming the eagerness of Parliament and its political bodies to play an active part from the beginning of this process.

The Conference on the Future of Europe should be an excellent opportunity to engage in more structured debate, with the intention to find concrete proposals to improve the way in which the EU works not only in terms of institutional dynamics, but also of its policies. Some have however cautioned that the initiative needs to be carried out with the utmost care, in particular on the follow- up to be given to its outcomes, so that it can remain a meaningful endeavour."

intanto la commissaria alla democrazia sostiene in un'intervista che i cittadini dovranno essere consultati anche online. Anche qui non si capisce bene come. 

FROM PAPER TO REALITY: “Our main objective is to create the conference as an interactive, open and inclusive reflection that reaches out to all citizens,” European Commissioner Dubravka Suiča told Brussels Playbook when asked how the European Commission plans to turn the preliminary road map for the Conference on the Future of Europe, approved by the European Parliament, into a concrete plan of action. “We need to use all possible means, including for example digital tools, to give citizens from all walks of life an equal opportunity to discuss their hopes, expectation and concerns,” she added. The conference aims to bring the bloc closer to its citizens, and “find concrete proposals to improve the way in which the EU works,” according to the European Parliament think tank.

Two-pronged approach: “We also believe that the conference should follow two strands, with one focusing on what the European Union should aim to achieve in future. This will include the need to act on climate change, to foster social fairness and prosperity, to shape the digital age, to ensure equality, and to strengthen Europe’s global leadership … The other strand will touch upon institutional matters,” Suiča said.

TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER: “President von der Leyen stated already at an earlier occasion that if a member of the European Parliament were put forward to chair the conference, she would fully support that,” she said when asked who should lead the initiative and “humanize” it. “At this stage, the priority is that the Council, the Parliament and the Commission agree on a common vision and clear objectives.”

Timetable: “The Parliament will hold a debate … on January 15 in Strasbourg; the Commission will set its vision most likely during the course of January. Together with the vision of the Council, this will already provide a basis for engaging in a common debate on how to take the conference forward,” she said.

NO MORE BUREAUCRACY, PLEASE: “The conference … aims to reach out to all citizens, no matter where they live, what they do or what their perspective on the European Union is,” she said. When asked if creating another entity in an EU already seen as bureaucratic would close the gap between the bloc’s decision-makers and its citizens, she said: “We need to find easy, accessible ways for people to get involved. This can be online, offline or in person. And, most importantly, the conference shall feed the work of the European institutions. It shall boost the exchange between citizens and their democratically elected representatives. It is all about better understanding common needs and priorities, and seeking ways to put them into action.”

What comes next: “A crucial aspect will be in the follow-up,” Suiča said. “The Council, the Parliament and the Commission jointly need to ensure that the results of the conference and its impact on policy making at European level match citizens’ expectations.”

DEALING WITH OPPOSITION: But how will she deal with some members of the Council who are very reluctant to any changes to European treaties? “The key objective is to develop a common understanding of the future we want to shape … When I am asked about the possible outcomes of the conference, my reply is that I am convinced that we will all be positively surprised. I insist that we should keep an open mind.”

Buon Natale!

Di seguito trovate altre info sulla CFE, in ordine:

1) 04.12.19: Conclusioni del Public hearing al Committee AFCO (Affari Costitutzioali) del PE

2) 12.12.19: Conclusioni del Consiglio (EUCO)

3) Proposte delle organizzazioni su BXL

4) Proposta dell’European Policy Centre

 

1) 04.12.19 – AFCO Meeting

Partecipanti:

  • EP VP: Othmar Karas (EPP, AT);
  • EESC President: Luca Jahier;
  • COR President: Karl-Heinz Lambertz;
  • EC VP: Dubravka Šuica (Democracy and Demography) & Věra Jourová (Values and Transparency);
  • A range of academia and civil society experts.

Conclusioni:

The Conference should

a) be allowed to set its own priorities in line with citizen concerns;

b) be defined in a way to enable concrete action to be taken in line with its conclusions;

c) anticipate treaty review to the degree necessary;

d) respect the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity;

e) include all social groups and political leanings;

f) allow the establishment of structures to enable national, regional and local stakeholder participation, electoral reform, and priorities such as climate change, defence, migration, social welfare, and labour policies.

 

2) 12.12.19 – EUCO meeting

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/41768/12-euco-final-conclusions-en.pdf

            Conclusions:

  • The European Council asks the Croatian Council Presidency to work towards defining a Council position on the content, scope, composition and functioning of such a conference and to engage, on this basis, with the European Parliament and the Commission.
  • The European Council recalls that priority should be given to implementing the Strategic Agenda agreed in June, and to delivering concrete results for the benefit of our citizens. The Conference should contribute to the development of our policies in the medium and long term.
  • The Conference should build on the successful holding of citizens’ dialogues over the past two years and foresee broad consultation of citizens in the course of the process. It needs to involve the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, in full respect of the inter-institutional balance and their respective roles as defined in the Treaties. The European Council underlines the need for an inclusive process, with all Member States involved equally. There should be shared ownership by EU institutions and Member States, including their parliaments.

 

3) Proposte delle organizzazioni su BXL

https://ecas.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/European-CSOs-recommendations-for-the-Conference-on-the-Future-of-Europe.pdf

Le proposte avanzate sono frutto di sessioni di brainstorming tra organizzazioni della società civile (OSC) nei mesi scorsi. Si tratta di proposte consensuali che però non sono necessariamente condivise in toto da tutte le organizzazioni. Solo 12 organizzazioni condividono il documento al 100%:  1) European Students' Forum (AEGEE); 2) European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA); 3) Assembly of European Regions (AER); 4) Civil Society Europe (CSE); 5) Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE); 6) European Citizen Action Service (ECAS); 7) European Youth Forum; 8) Foundation EURACTIV; 9) GaragErasmus Foundation; 10) Young European Federalists (JEF); 11) Union of European Federalists (UEF); 12) Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

Per quanto riguarda il metodo, in breve: queste proposte disegnano una Conferenza in due momenti. Il primo, guidato dalle istituzioni europee affiancate dalle OSC, prevede l’identificazione delle problematiche da discutere, con possibilità per i cittadini di esprimersi attraverso piattaforme online ecc. Per quanto concerne il secondo momento, si propone di estrarre a sorte cittadini e rappresentanti delle OSC per avanzare proposte concrete in riferimento alle problematiche individuate nel primo momento. Infine, le proposte dovrebbero essere discusse sulla base del principio “explain or comply”.

In particolare, ECAS dettaglia il tutto in 5 fasi.

Al link in alto trovate il documento completo con tutte le proposte dettagliate.

 

4) Proposta dell’European Policy Centre

https://wms.flexious.be/editor/plugins/imagemanager/content/2140/PDF/2019/First_Draft_Blueprint_CoFoE___European_Policy_Centre_2-12-19.pdf

 

 

 

Magnifico lavoro, Octavian. La proposta delle associazioni a me non sembra affatto male sia nei principi metodologici sia nella articolazione concreta. Tra l'altro viene più volte sottolineata la necessità di fondi, oltre che di informazione, perché il processo sia effettivamente democratico - e non un mero esercizio retorico. Questi elementi è necessario inserirli anche nella pdl per la ca italiana. La democrazia a budget zero è facebook, non democrazia.

Grazie Octavian. Auguro a te e tutti un magnifico nuovo anno!

Ottimo approccio, omni-comprensivo rispetto alla democrazia europea. Mi sembra il metodo giusto. Alcuni particolari non mi sono chiarissimi. Si potrebbe fare una riunione ad hoc con lui per chiarire i vari passaggi e farci capire come usare questo documento per l'inizitiva politica anche nazionale. Bravo Dastoli, lo amo quest'uomo :)

[Edit]

Abbiamo sottoscritto il documento sia come Eumans, che come Coscioni che come Science for Democracy. 

Scrivo subito a Dastoli per invitarlo alla nostra riunione di martedi. Helpful indeed. 


Segnalo le scadenze che ci ha indicato nello scambio di mail (che mi pare o Simona o Octavian avessero anche giá identificato) 

 

Il voto del parlamento europeo sulla risoluzione relativa alla conferenza il 15 gennaio mattina (nel pomeriggio ci sarà al cnel la riunione della piattaforma Italiana promossa dal movimento europeo)

La commissione europea adotterà la sua comunicazione sulla conferenza il 22 gennaio

Se sarà accolta la proposta del pe la prima sessione della conferenza avrà luogo a Bruxelles il 9 maggio

Grazie Octavian per l'aggiornamento. 

Ieri a Roma si è svolto al CNEL il terzo incontro organizzato dal Movimento Europeo per preparare la Conferenza sul Futuro dell'Europa. Eravamo presenti Cappato, Mineo, Sibilla e Annalisa. 

Il Movimento Europeo sta guidando un processo di collaborazione tra diverse organizzazioni della societá civile che contribuiscano a plasmare la CFE. (file che erano in distribuzione tutti allegati a questo post - se qualcuno vuole aiutarci a conttattare tutti i sottoscrittori del documento con proposta di adesione alla ICE Rule of Law fatemi sapere che ci coordiniamo anche su questo :)). 

Si tratta di un'ottima opportunitá per portare i nostri temi su alcuni tavoli importanti, ma anche per interagire con organizzazioni che nella maggior parte dei casi hanno anche ramificazioni europee. (d'altra parte, si stanno sviluppando piattaforme simili in altri paesi europei e ovviamente a bruxelles quindi quanto scrivo sotto vale un po' in senso generale). 

In questo network, cui ha aderito Eumans ma anche Science for Democracy e l'Associazione Luca Coscioni, saranno attivati 6 gruppi di lavoro: 

- ruolo dell'UE nel mondo 
- Distribuzione delle competenze europee (UE, stati nazionali, livello locale) 
- Capacitá fiscale 
- Sustainable Development Goals 
- Confini dell'integrazione europea 
- Governo democratico dell'Unione Europea 
- Competitivitá 

Nei prossimi giorni dovremo dare a Dastoli la disponibilitá per partecipare ai gruppi di lavoro. 

Sarebbe fantastico se almeno sei tra noi potessero entrare in questi gruppi di lavoro con la duplice funzione di dare (anche) uno sbocco di lungo termine al nostro progetto di riforma all'interno del percorso della Conferenza sul Futuro dell'Europa ma anche per connettersi con le persone che fanno parte di questa rete. 

Qualche disponibilitá? 

Le persone possono anche diverse dai curatori del progetto "Pacchetto Eumans2020 - petizioni" ma è importante tenerci tutti coordinati, qui su cuore e nelle varie riunioni :) 

In termini di cose da fare: 
- partecipare alle riunioni che verranno indette per i gruppi di lavoro 
- fare report durante le riunioni del martedi 
- portare i nostri temi 
- alimentare la nostra rete di contatti creando eventuali connessioni con il coordinamento e con i comitati promotori delle varie iniziative 
- tenere il filo con il discorso più complessivo Eumans2020 

Note critche
- resta valido il problema di come possa effettivamente questa Conferenza incidere sulle riforme dell'UE - data la quasi impossibilitá di riforme dei trattati 
- non esiste un gruppo di lavoro in quelli proposti da Dastoli & Co. sulle riforme in senso stretto della democrazia partecipativa (ma credo che il gruppo del "Governo Democratico" potrebbe essere quello da presidiare per porre questi temi 
- in molti durante l'incontro hanno posto il problema della transnazionalitá del lavoro da fare - occasione e promemoria anche per noi 
 

 

Ciao a tutti 
è arrivata la lista aggiornata dei gruppi di lavoro del coordinamento di Dastoli - chiederei a tutti di rivedere proprie dispo alla luce di questo nuovo elenco. 

 

1)      Il ruolo dell’Unione Europea in un mondo instabile e globalizzato

2)      La ripartizione delle responsabilità e il principio di sussidiarietà (coordinato dal Movimento europeo)

3)      La realizzazione degli obiettivi dello Sviluppo Sostenibile (coordinato da ASviS)

4)      La dimensione sociale

5)      Il completamento dell’Unione Economica e Monetaria (coordinato da FeBAF)

6)      La capacità fiscale dell’Unione europea e il bilancio europeo (coordinato dal CesUE e dal MFE)

7)      La competitività e la società di informazione

8)      La diversità culturale e l’identità europea (coordinato dal Centro Universitario Europeo per i Beni Culturali – Ravello)

9)      I confini politici e istituzionali di un’Europa ad integrazione differenziata e le relazioni con i paesi vicini

10)   Il governo democratico dell’Europa (Potremmo proporci come coordinatori) 

Altri spunti da Dastoli: 

 

Il Movimento europeo ha deciso di sottoporre ai suoi membri la proposta di creare un Osservatorio sulla Conferenza europea con il contributo di un gruppo ristretto di esperti, sperando che vogliate svolgere un ruolo attivo per le attività di questo Osservatorio.

 

Intendiamo anche avviare una attività di comunicazione e informazione che tenga conto dell’esperienza svolta con la campagna di controinformazione sull'Europa avviata dal Movimento europeo nel giugno 2018 e svolta dall’agosto 2018 in collaborazione con Europa in Movimento.

 

Vi informo infine che il Centro Studi sul Federalismo ha proposto a un gruppo ristretto di think tank di elaborare una posizione comune in vista della Conferenza europea, che il Comitato Economico e Sociale Europeo (CESE) ha deciso di costituire un Gruppo di lavoro coordinato dal Presidente Jahier e che l’esecutivo dell’ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) si riunirà il 6 febbraio.

 

Il Movimento Europeo offre un patrimonio ideale e progettuale incredibile, me ne sento quasi intimorita. Naturalmente mi rendo conto che una tale competenza, intelligenza politica, capacità di analisi non vanno di moda e non sono queste le cose che consentono di "fare il botto". Un po' di umiltà però nell'affrontare il vasto programma di riforme che ci prefiguriamo, non credo ci farebbe male. Forse un buon punto di partenza è studiare.

Il programma politico 2019-21 è un piano di riforma quasi perfetto che punta a policy paneuropee ed alla creazione di una comunità federale. I tavoli di lavoro mi sembrano più o meno impostati su questo. Manca forse giusto la questione digitale. In ogni caso, costituisce una fonte di approfondiemento importante per i temi su cui vogliamo avanzare le petizioni.

Il punto debole del Movimento mi sembra la capacità di penetrazione comunicativa. La "campagna di controinformazione" cui si accenna qui non mi pare particolarmente efficace. L'output sono state queste inforgrafiche. Non so nemmeno quanto utile possa essere in realtà questo tipo di iniziative.

Certamente noi potremmo candidarci a coordinare il gruppo di lavoro sul governo democratico dell'Europa. Purtroppo non mi sento di dare la disponibilità ad una partecipazione viva, sia per ragioni logistiche sia per ragioni di impegni professionali. Ma sarò felice di dare umilmente una mano a Sibilla e gli altri che, da Roma, si assumeranno l'impegno.

 

A quanto pare i fondi per finanziare la Conferenza devono essere stanziati dagli stati nazionali. Ne parlava Sommella nella sua trasmissione su RR l'altro giorno citando il draft doc della Commissione. Questo significa che anche l'informazione, oltre all'organizzazione degli incontri dei cittadini, sarà in mano agli stati nazionali che certo non muoiono dalla voglia di mettere budget su ste cose, date le ristrettezze in cui già si muovono.

Riporto:

B. OUTCOMES

1. The outcome of the Conference should be reflected in a report to the European Council in 2022.

14. In the light of the conclusions of the European Council, the EU institutions will decide on how to effectively follow up to this report, each within their own sphere of competence and in accordance with the Treaties.

Questa è una presa per il culo.

È sempre più urgente muoverci per :

- chiedere l'assemblea dei cittadini estratti a sorte

- chiedere che la conference possa prevedere modifiche ai trattati 

- chiedere al Consiglio di andarsene a quel paese!

Ho appena trovato questa lettera aperta sulla CoFoE pubblicata una settimana fa da Alemanno&Co. e sottoscritta da millemila accademici https://verfassungsblog.de/the-conference-on-the-future-of-europe-an-open-letter/ 

 

01.02.20 - The Conference on the Future of Europe: an Open Letter 
Alberto Alemanno (The Good Lobby) , Kalypso Nicolaidis (Oxford University), Niccoló Milanese (European Alternatives)

 

Dear President of the European Parliament, President of the Council of the EU and President of the European Commission,

As you meet at the Jean Monnet House in Bazoches, France, to discuss Europe’s political challenges and the Conference on the future of Europe, we would like to share with you and your closest advisors some reflections on this forthcoming major democratic exercise.

We are a community of academics coming from different disciplines united by our commitment to constructively contribute to the European project and its future. Having not only personally witnessed, but also closely studied and contributed to previous (failed) institutional attempts (including the 2002-03 Convention, the 2006-7 European Citizens Consultations, the 2009-10 Reflection group) to rethink the EU institutional asset, we take the liberty to express our deepest concerns about the many unintended consequences stemming from the imminent launch of the Conference on the future of Europe.

There is a tangible risk that by raising expectations it cannot easily deliver on, the Conference may erode citizens’ trust at a time when the demand for public engagement is at record highs across the continent. Europe and your political leadership can hardly afford that.

Due to its top-down approach, the proposed blueprint of the Conference defies its own purpose: to be “a bottom-up exercise where European citizens are listened to and their voices contribute to the debates on the future of Europe”.

Here is why:

First, neither the blueprint put forward by the Parliament nor that proposed by the Commission foresee the participation of civil society organizations with the only exception of the European trade unions and the employers’ BusinessEurope. Yet without unleashing the mobilizing potential of European civil society the Conference will never be owned and felt by citizens. This goes quite against the positive experience of involving civil society organisations in promoting turnout in the European elections: if the European institutions think that civil society will be happy only to act as promoters of a Conference they have no say in, the institutions risk an unpleasant surprise.

Second, the only participatory dimension of the Conference comes from six citizens’ assemblies – called agoras in the Parliament’s proposal – which will deliberate on a set of predefined policy areas, from the climate crisis the digital revolution to the redrafting of EU electoral law. It remains unclear how the agoras – which have been downgraded to citizen’s dialogues in the Commission’s blueprint – will actually be run and moderated, and, more importantly, how their conclusions will feed into the work and final conclusions of the Conference, and crucially how feedback between decision-makers and citizens participating in the assemblies actually takes place, and how disagreements are resolved. Moreover, in this approach citizens are not involved in agenda setting.

Third, although in the Parliament proposal young people are given a dedicated agora, there is a danger that this is perceived as ‘youth-washing’ and treating young people as an accessory rather than empowering young people as the future of the European Union.

Fourth, the methodological vagueness and improvisation characterizing the first blueprints of the Conference contrasts with the countless and well-established democratic innovations already taking shape across the continent, from the Irish citizens’ Constitutional Convention, which reviewed the constitution, to the Ostbelgien Citizens’ Council in the German-speaking community in eastern Belgium – a permanent mechanism and the first of its kind, letting randomly chosen ordinary citizens take part with parliamentarians in developing recommendations for the local parliament. Even the EU’s own democratic innovation in the form of Citizens’ Initiatives is not included in the blueprint.

Fifth, there is a thriving literature on the state of European democracy and some of its possible fixes. Yet the current proposals for – and debate surrounding – the Conference seem to blissfully neglect such a wealth of analysis. No democratic construction will succeed in the absence of an architecture informed and designed by its best constitutional architects and experienced carpenters.

Sixth, the ultimate success of the Conference will be defined by its durability. Europe needs to devise an effective mechanism capable of capturing the most relevant and promising proposals coming from the citizens and turn it into a permanent method feeding the day-to-day EU decision-making. Citizen participation needs institutionalization, not on-off or ad hoc processes.

Time has come to invest into our own European democracy, far from the day-to-day political bickering, through close cooperation with those citizens who invest their lives, as activists and advocates in our common future.

Europe, and your new, yet already contested, political leadership can hardly afford to be associated with an initiative that might soon be perceived as top-down, unauthentic, outdated and out-of-touch with EU citizens’ daily lives.

For the Conference to succeed, the three most powerful EU institutions should lead by example, by stepping back and carving out a meaningful and effective role for citizens’ input within the forthcoming Conference so as to be able to constantly co-create the future the EU deserves. Specifically, following from the deficiencies of the current models discussed, our concrete recommendations would be:

– Give civil society a leading role in the Conference, by giving it a voting seat at the plenary table, alongside the social partners.

– Ensure that the process is built in such a way that real deliberation can take place between citizens, and between citizens and elected decision makers and governments: this means enabling citizens to set the agenda on equal terms to governments (as it is the case within the Open Government Partnership), and allowing contradictory debate and compromise to take place over the course of the democratic exercise.

– Give young people a decisive role in the Conference, by empowering them in the plenary, and ensuring young people are in the Presidium or other governing bodies of the Conference itself.

– Take the time to involve practitioners, academics and specialists in civil society participation in the design and running of the Conference.

Finally, at the outset of the exercise commit that this is a decisive and long-term evolution in the way European democracy works, and not a one-off exercise.

 

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In risposta a di Octavian Lazea

Segnalo dalla Nl di Politico

MOVE OVER #COFEU: Grand plans for a Conference on the Future of Europe must wait: Ambassadors are yet to formulate the position of EU countries — and there’s not even a date foreseen for that exercise, two EU diplomats told Playbook on Monday. The European Central Bank, meanwhile, announced it would hold its own “euro area-wide series of listening events” as part of its strategy review, which is due this year. The series starts on March 26 in Brussels, featuring ECB President Christine Lagarde herself.