TRANSEUROPA Festival 2013 represented a key moment in the development of the Citizens Manifesto, as it marked the culmination of three years of participatory activities that involved thousands of people and hundreds of organisations across the continent for the elaboration of concrete policy proposals for another Europe. It helped create a transnational common space where citizens, in the broader sense of the word, got together to translate ideas into a shared new vision of the society they would like to live in, not only beyond nations, but also across generations and on a wide range of cross-cutting issues.
The process leading up to the Citizens Manifesto started in 2011, as an attempt to bring together European citizens around issues that we believed the European Union should act on, and in order to bridge the democratic gap between EU institutions and the people in Europe. Citizens’ panels were held across the continent from 2011 to 2013 on the following areas: work, welfare, nance, legality and the ght against organised crime, democracy, gender equality, common goods, migration, LGBT rights, the environment, Roma rights, media freedom and pluralism. A range of tools and techniques was used to ensure that participation went beyond the “usual suspects”.
In an effort to translate ideas into policy proposals, small groups of experts (practitioners, academics, activists) in EU law and on a particular topic met to develop a number of citizens-led proposals, on the basis of EU competences and of online votes for proposals. From the start of TRANSEUROPA Festival to its closing TRANSEUROPA Forum, the Manifesto went from being a collection of developed proposals to a political narrative on what we should change and how to reach a European society that is more democratic, less discriminatory and based on more solidarity.