Civil Society Organizations kick off a Citizens’ Conference on the Future of Europe
9 May, 2020
27 April 2020 – This year’s Europe Day, the 9th of May, is marked by the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, by the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2 and by the terrible Covid-19 pandemia. At a turning point for Europe, civil society organisations across the Union are taking the lead to organise a citizen-led Conference on the Future of Europe, and send out a message of solidarity, cooperation and democracy.
The initiative is launched by means of a joint online mobilisation for the 9th of May under the title “Citizens Take over Europe”. “We are a coalition of European civil society organisations across the European Union that puts citizens at the centre of the debate on our future, on the reshaping of our society and our common European project, to set out how we can recover from this health, social, economic and political crisis through solidarity and cooperation.”
“Citizens Take Over Europe” kicks off on the 9th of May presenting a jointly curated “online festival” where different organisations and artistic institutions organise events open to citizens’ active participation.
A rich program of online events will be disseminated through hundreds of organisations from all over Europe, with the participation of internationally-acclaimed political thinkers, artists, philosophers, writers activists, citizens and residents.
The initiative is a joint effort of a continuously expanding group of civil society organisations, currently consisting of: Alliance4Europe, Another Europe is Possible, CIVICO Europa, Democracy International, European Alternatives, European Civic Forum, European Democracy Lab, European Women Alliance, EUmans, Mehr Demokratie, New Europeans, The ECI Campaign, Eurotopia, The Good Lobby, and WeMove Europe.
The “Citizens Take Over Europe” initiative aims to create a fundamental and bottom-up energy to reimagine our European project at a moment when top-down governance is threatening the European values of unity and solidarity. The online festival on the 9th of May is the public launch of this initiative, and a call to action aimed at citizens and civil society organisations across Europe. It is a call to join us in developing leadership from the bottom up, and to organise ourselves – citizens and civil society organisations – by means of our very own Citizens’ Conference in order to shape the Europe we want. If not us, then who?
Noemì Niedermeyer, French school teacher living in Spain
“In this crisis, we need to unite, strengthen and reaffirm the solidarity between countries. All citizens, as sisters and brothers, should enjoy the same rights throughout Europe.”
Saquib Ahmad, British psychotherapist, Belgium:
“As the threat of Covid-19 spreads across Europe and the world, so do stress and anxiety, which is why we must stay united and help each other during these uncertain and unpredictable times. We must act together to fight fear.”
Birutė Andruškaitė, SME owner, Lithuania:
“The crisis has put a great emphasis on trusting science, thus, we should start trusting science about global warming too. Today there is a great need to be united not only to fight the virus, but to fight its consequences too.”
Reinhold Fredrixon, trains maintenance manager, Sweden:
“I feel confident that this horror of the pandemia will even more unite all the Europeans and develop more solidarity”