the Citizens' Assembly in Europe
Key ideas and methodological axes of the European Citizens' Assembly
* elements extracted from the report of the coordinators meeting in Paris - June 2008
Context and challenges of the region
- There exists a crisis of parliamentary regimes and political parties; the latter of which are questioned since, in spite of the opening of frontiers, which was supposed to be a remedy for all evils, these current powers today lack the solution to the economic problems (particularly, unemployment); the latest ballot in Ireland (No to the constitution) is proof of that
- Certain political parties are discredited, favoring a “civilian society” which fails to solve both the individuals’ participation problem and its legitimacy problem to represent the community
- There is, in scale with this territory, an institution – the European Union – which should undergo a thorough examination blocked by national executives and the mostly economic considerations which run it
- There are too many European movements (associations, clubs, organizations…); there is also a General Secretariat of the European Union concerned with citizenship and culture. All these organizations compete for financing and awards.
- This will imply an alliance management. Confronting instituted bodies through imitation or lobbying might be useful
- The expected stages could include the study of groups which work on the citizenship issue (analysis and strategy of each one), for instance, through an emissary to interview them
- Building a promoters’ coalition (with negotiations to transform individual dreams into collective ones) which will determine the format of the event
- Getting the political actors involved to ensure the legitimacy of the process and to integrate their elements of debate.
- Taking advantage of the European elections to share the idea of an instituting assembly
- Promoting an information kit to spread this idea to as many people as possible
- Getting experts and citizens in contact
- Reaching a citizens’ assembly idea, if not through consensus, at least supported by the majority.
EU Elections of the 7th June 2009 : a realistic blog that demands the impossible
The blog Challenge for Europe is online since last May to stimulate a public debate, constructive and demanding on the future of the European Union. It joins together proposals resulting from very diverse sources from Europe or from the world.