Where are the Citizens ?! - commentaires Where are the Citizens ?! 2006-07-21T08:11:58Z https://www.treffpunkteuropa.de/Where-are-the-Citizens#comment826 2006-07-21T08:11:58Z <p><i>Dear Toni,</i></p> <p>your impression is correct and that is what I wanted to point out in my article - the whole listening part was missing indeed <i>(even many convinced federalists have been literary sleeping in the conference room, but that's nothing new)</i>. When you say ‘this organisation' I reckon you talk about UEF, since in JEF we are pretty much aware of the problematic and are trying to both influence the agenda of UEF (e.g. getting formerly active JEFers into the decision-making bodies of UEF as happened at the Congress that followed the Convention) as well as do our best to reach out to other NGOs when ever possible (revival of youth political meetings in Brussels can serve as a positive example). But back to the topic of Citizens' Convention (CC) - as I stressed in my article, the basic idea of such an event is a very good one but it takes a lot of effort and will to implement it and it seems as if the UEF has failed to produce such capacity due to various internal reasons and probably simply due to a different understanding of what a CC should be. I think they have partly realised that and for this and other reasons there won't be any Paris CC but perhaps a Berlin CC during the German EU Presidency - and if and when the time comes we will surely try our best as JEF to make our presence felt and try to foster a better debate and include a wider civil society. <strong>In the end, hopefully if we manage to get more JEF people in such events and UEF meetings the old(er) generation will see that Europe truly is more than a peace project.</strong></p> Where are the Citizens ?! 2006-07-20T15:34:16Z https://www.treffpunkteuropa.de/Where-are-the-Citizens#comment823 2006-07-20T15:34:16Z <p>Well Peter, if according to you Genoa was a success compared to Vienna then Im really glad I didnt come !</p> <p>I was right in my predictions. Im starting to wonder if anyone has actually understood the whole point and meaning of Citizens Conventions. At least in this organisation, I think the answer is No.</p> <p>You see - the Commission's plan D had clearly explained the purpose of dialogue and debate. It was ment to be a LISTENING EXERCISE for political actors, where citizens representing the WIDE POLITICAL SPECTRUM would be invited to have their say. Genoa and from what I understand Vienna too, were nothing but Federalist monologues by Frederalist speakers to a Federalist audience. And what does that achieve exactly ? A completely waste of money if you ask me. If this is what Citizens Conventions are to be, then I suggest we move on. Good luck with Paris.</p> « Where are the Citizens ?! » 2006-07-07T10:11:05Z https://www.treffpunkteuropa.de/Where-are-the-Citizens#comment783 2006-07-07T10:11:05Z <p><i>Dear Valery !</i></p> <p>Thanks for your comment.</p> <p>First on communicating positive aspects of the EU : It is true that it's the job of Commissioner Walstroem and her cabinet to do so. But to a certain extent (sometimes whether we want to or not) also our job, since in situations like the YES and NO campaigns JEF was one of the few, if not the only part of the European civil society, that rallied for a positive image of the EU WITH REASONABLE arguments (unlike some national governments and party politicians, who made several simply unacceptable comments).</p> <p>But I agree, we perhaps shouldn't take such a big burden on our shoulders and really focus on, as you pointed out, critisizing the negative aspects while at the same time proposing better alternative solutions in a easy-to-understand/citizens' friendly way.</p> <p>Secondly, I do believe that the federalist movement has the leverage to gather seemingly opposing positions in the YES-NO debate, as long as we start thinking out of the box and present our ideas of federal institutions as the only democratic way, which can help Europe advance and then the politicians and citizens themselves can decide about the direction of the policies (whether more liberal or more social Europe, etc).</p> <p>The initial idea of a European Citizens' Convention, as I understand it, wanted to offer such a platform but simply this time round we (still) haven't reached the potentials it offers.</p> <p><i>Federalist regards, Peter</i></p> « Where are the Citizens ?! » 2006-07-06T22:28:33Z https://www.treffpunkteuropa.de/Where-are-the-Citizens#comment780 2006-07-06T22:28:33Z <p>You write :</p> <p><i>In the end it seems as if the pro-European organisations still have not learned their lesson from their last year's failure in communicating the positive aspects of the EU to the broader public and ordinary citizens.</i></p> <p>But actually I am not convinced that our mission is to communicate the positive aspects of the EU, that's the job of Margot Mallström. Our job is to point out what's not working and why, and to convince of the solutions we propose.</p> <p>The analysis of the shortcomings and the failures of the Union as it is now was actually shared by both the federalists and some of the more no-voters. We failed in convincing that the constitutional treaty was actually solving thos issues or making significant progress in solving them.</p> <p>We failed becasue actually this was a leap of faith : we were faithful that this « Constitution » was a significant step forward and would allow us to carry on with progress towards federalism. Others were actually sceptical about this vision and were faithful that the only way to obtain what we hope for was to provoke a political crisis that would allow a renewed dynamism among the willings.</p> <p>Obviously those who are familiar with European affairs know that this was highly unlikely but then, most voters are not experts.</p> <p>This is why such an event should gather more than the traditional pro-europeans : our critical views on the way the Union work have a potenially large audience. The challenge is to make sure that this critical view of the EU leads to a federalist approcah to improve teh Union and not to a nationalist option to weaken it.</p>