Press Release: The citizens open letter to Angela Merkel and petition to the European Parliament

Press Release: The citizens open letter to Angela Merkel and petition to the European Parliament

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The citizens open letter to Angela Merkel and petition to the European Parliament

08 October 2020 – The Citizens Take Over Europe coalition (CTOE) is addressing the EU institutions for the Conference on the Future of Europe through an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Presidents of the European Parliament and of the Commission and an official Petition to the European Parliament to open a co-creation process for the Conference on the Future of Europe.

As stated in the letter, the EU is at a crossroads in its history: the need for the European Union to transform into a social, sustainable, inclusive and democratic, and citizen-led project is greater than ever before. Citizens and civil society organisations from across Europe, call on key political figures to make true the promise of the proposed Conference on the Future of Europe to guide the EU out of the many crises with which it is confronted.

Among the different requests which CTOE intend to present to EU institutions, the open letter and the petition demands: 

– To urgently commit to a timetable for the Conference on the Future of Europe, and engage civil society to co-design the Conference’s format

– To put citizens centre-stage at all phases of the Conference, firmly anchor civil society’s role in the Conference’s structure, and use randomly selected citizens’ assemblies to achieve representation of less-represented groups.

 – To pledge to follow-up to any significant reforms recommended by the Conference, including the possibility of treaty change.

As Daniela Vancic, from the CTOE coalition, explains: “the Conference on the Future of Europe is a rare opportunity that citizens have to sit at the decision-making table and co-create the Future of Europe that they want”.

More than 70 organisations, representing millions of citizens have already signed the pledge to decision-makers, calling for an inclusive process in both the designing of the Conference and in its implementation. 

Interinstitutional negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council have already taken place, but behind closed doors, excluding citizens and leaving them completely in the dark. The CTOE coalition also submitted an official petition to the European Parliament calling for more transparency about the backdoor negotiations on the timeline and design of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The petition will prompt a response from the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament, where the members of the Committee will discuss the petition, with consideration of follow-up action.

The CTOE alliance is a continuously expanding group of civil society organisations formed in April 2020 with the objective of taking the lead in initiating a Citizens’ Conference on the Future of Europe to be organised with the support of citizens and civil society from all across Europe.

To get more information on CTOE and to participate in the coalition’s activities:

https://citizenstakeover.eu/

 

PRESS CONTACTS

For a citizens-centered Conference on the Future of Europe

For a citizens-centered Conference on the Future of Europe

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For a citizens-centered conference on the future of europe

Open letter to Angela Merkel & public online event

1st July 2020 | 11:00 – 20:00 CET

24 June 2020 The Citizens Take Over Europe coalition (CTOE) invites citizens and civil society organisations to discuss the political urgency for the future of Europe, starting from the Recovery Fund and the reforms that the European Union needs to make through a European Citizens Assembly. 

The 1st of July event will be a moment also to discuss how we can design this assembly together and make it happen.

The event is planned at the occasion of the beginning of the German EU presidency. 

While the institutions are still remaining silent about the Conference on the Future of Europe, the CTOE coalition advocates that citizens and residents of Europe should be at the center of the debate.

Among the different requests which CTOE intend to present to the German Presidency, the following 3 demands will be included in the open letter that will be discussed during the digital event:

– Urgently commit to a timetable for the Conference on the Future of Europe, and engage civil society to co-design the Conference’s format

– Put citizens centre-stage at all phases of the Conference, firmly anchor civil society’s role in the Conference’s structure, and use randomly selected citizens’ assemblies to achieve representation of less-represented groups. 

 – Pledge to follow-up to any significant reforms recommended by the Conference, including the possibility of treaty change.

This open letter is our civil society response to the delayed and uncertain Conference on the Future of Europe, which was promised to us by EU Commission President Von Der Leyen last year. With this open letter, we want to say: EU German Presidency, make it a priority to work together with the citizens, civil society, and other institutions so that a citizens-focused Conference on the Future of Europe can come to life. The outcomes of the Conference must be followed-up politically if it is to be a democratically legitimate process.” (Daniela Vancic, Democracy International – CTOE member, together with many other organizations*)

The politically independent CTOE coalition was formed in April 2020 with the objective of taking the lead in initiating a Citizens’ Conference on the Future of Europe to be organised with the support of citizens and civil society from all across Europe. On May 9th, CTOE kicked off its coalition with an online festival packed with sessions on the future of democracy and solidarity during the Covid-19 crisis. The online marathon attracted more than 45,000 viewers on Facebook Live, and it was covered by numerous media outlets across Europe.

Just prior to the 9th of May first public event organized by CTOE, the coalition published its provisional plans and timeline for organising this Citizens’ Conference on the Future of Europe over the course of the next few years.

To attend the 1st July event please register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/663312394223484 

The event will be hosted on Zoom and broadcast on Facebook.

To get more information on CTOE and to participate in the coalition’s activities: https://citizenstakeover.eu/

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*The Citizens Take Over Europe alliance is continuously expanding group of civil society organisations, currently consisting of: Alliance4Europe, Another Europe is Possible, CIVICO Europa, Democracy International, EUMans, European Alternatives, European Democracy Lab, European Civic Forum, European House, Eurotopia, Mehr Demokratie e.V., Music Theater International, New Europeans, Pulse of Europe, Take a Break from Brexit, The ECI Initiative, The Good Lobby, WeMove Europe.

Citizens Take Over Europe

Citizens Take Over Europe

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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”