First EUROLAND CITIZENS’ Assembly, open, permanent and multilingual, with debates through an online platform, online meetings and residential meetings. Become one of the first contributor to the creation of an European Political space: participate from September 15th via the online platform democracia.eu and fly to Athens in February 2016 to attend in person the first Trans-european citizens’ Assembly. This project is for citizens who believe in a more democratic Europe, above their national interests, and who don’t belong to any anti-democratic political group. This project has been created and organized by Newropeans Club2, in partnership with LEAP2020.
A non-democratically governed “sovereign” at the heart of Europe: Euroland
At the heart of the EU lies Euroland, a “sovereign” with a common currency, institutions to administer it, but no democratic political system to decide upon the orientations of this administration. The Greek crisis is not an economic or financial crisis, it is the political crisis of the 70 years of a European construction, that has technically succeeded but morally failed in involving citizens in its decision-making processes. For the past 25 years, national political systems, European technocrats, private interests AND the citizens themselves found it very comfortable to not finalize the process of integration started in the 1950s with a view to build a continent of peace and prosperity, in an attempt to learn from two World Wars:
- national politicians thus remained at the top of the democratic pyramid
- European technocrats had it easy to conduct policies away from political pressure
- private interests were strong influencing policy-making
- but citizens were also lazy in creating the conditions for defending their common interests3.
Then came the crisis… … with strong decisions required to be made in order to stabilize the European boat amidst the tempest. But who would be capable of it? European technocrats with no political legitimacy? Politicians with mere national legitimacies colliding with one another? The Euro crisis got both: in 2010, technocrats made decisions which were then attacked by national parliaments4; in 2015, national politicians (namely German and Greek ones) fought over their diverging national citizen interests. … and 7 years after the beginning of the global systemic crisis, the situation remains unsolved and European citizens’ collective destiny is at great risk.
Euroland systemic flaws are now clear enough to finally be addressed
This dramatic political failure has one advantage: everyone agrees now that change is needed. However, structurally, the kind of change that is required cannot come from politically-illegitimate technocrats, nor from European-wise illegitimate national politicians… Why? Because politics is a matter of citizens and European politics is a matter of European citizens. Now every citizen in Europe is de facto a European citizen… potentially. Indeed a growing share of Europeans citizens, and especially the youngest generation, now wish to fight for their common interest and put aside their personal interests. And the Greek crisis provides a first common interest worth gathering around and fighting for: Let’s solve once and for all this Greek crisis which bugs us all! This simple common objective provides a basis to achieve two major political goals:
- finally de-compartmentalize the European political life by getting rid of the bottleneck which represent the traditional political parties and by connecting together citizens on European level
- fill in the democratic void at the heart of Europe by creating a mechanism identifying, expressing and implementing Euroland citizens’ interests and political solutions
And let’s hail this void which provides the Europeans with a historic opportunity to contribute to the invention of XXIst century democracy: the creation of an open, permanent and multilingual Agora, which takes advantage of Internet progresses!
And this time let’s just do it ourselves!
To this highly ambitious project, Club Newropeans wishes to invite the representatives of the Erasmus generations in particular, as well as any individual living in the Eurozone, having a sense of civic responsibility, to gather around the concept of a first AGORA OF EUROLAND CITIZENS. Join the project, join the discussion on how to turn this AGORA into European History’s second democratic feat5. Indeed, what else have we, citizens, done for Europe so far? So let’s stop whining about the weakness of our leaders! Let’s pull up our sleeves to recreate strength for our continent to take back its destiny in our hands. If we fail, reactionary forces will finally win, based on the fantasy that there is a “rewind” button to History… systematically leading to major catastrophes.
What is the AGORA OF EUROLAND CITIZENS?
The Agora intends to be the first open, permanent and multilingual system of representation of the citizens of Euroland. A collaborative process The first Agora of Euroland Citizens will be organized collaboratively, involving any Euroland citizen interested in contributing actively to the definition of the programme, proposal of topics, selection of papers, identification of keynote speakers, research of funds, logistics, etc…
Format and programme of the first on-site AGORA
The first residential Agora will take place in Athens over 3 days, in June 2016, along the following lines:
- .Day 1 : Plenary sessions
- .Day 2 : Topic workshops
- .Day 3 : Project workshops + plenary closing session
The detailed programme will be decided upon in a collaborative manner, based on the initial input of Club Newropeans and LEAP. In a first phase we will work on projects and debates. First Projects are:
- Project 1: Inventing the first Open Agora of Euroland Citizens thanks to Internet Tools.
- Project 2: Reaching out to 300 million Euroland Citizens.
First debates are:
- Debate 1: Euro solidarity: Greek case
- Debate 2: Migration crisis
- Debate 3: Peace and Independence in Europe
- Debate 4: Global place and role of Europe
Funding mechanism Participants are required to pay for their travel and accommodation expenses. Club Newropeans will set up a crowd-funding system to cover additional costs: conference rooms, meals and coffee breaks, live streaming, staff, leaflets, etc… which will be duly justified.
After the on-site Agora… Depending on the adopted decisions, a new phase will be initiated and we will celebrate another residential meeting of the Agora in another European town in 2016. The final goal is to create the first representative Body of Euroland Citizens.