The transnational forum on Monday 17 December, attended by various organisations from European civil society and citizens from all across Europe intended to pave the way for a Citizens Pact to fill up the democratic gap in Europe. Discussion was passionate and varied. The Citizens Pact, which should agree on a common set of demands in time for the next European Parliamentary Elections in 2014, intends to voice the citizens’ visions and priorities of how Europe should be, and their concerns particularly in relation to social justice issues, employment and fundamental rights as well as the institutional structure of the EU.The Citizens Pact is wished to move in a different direction to any European inter-governmental Treaty. The Pact aims indeed at being at the same time a pact of cooperation and solidarity between European Citizens (and migrants with residency in Europe) and a pact between citizens and some institutions ready to back our demands.Its mandate is also to open a ‘third space’ in which citizens can engage with Europe: neither accepting the current logic of austerity, nor accepting the flat refusal of all European aspiration to a Union or integration. Thus, providing European citizens with a concrete opportunity to exercise their citizenship and articulate their priorities or alternatives at a European level.
Any organisations representing European citizens and individuals are welcome to work together towards the Citizens Pact in a variety of ways which may include:
- Taking part in organising the series of citizens’ deliberations convened by European Alternatives in Italy, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Romania, the UK, Germany and Slovakia over 2013
- Organising public meetings and deliberations around themes relating to the Citizens’ Pact (we mentioned initiatives in Bologna, Venice, Florence, Lodz)
- Organising public activities which are not conferences but include more creative approaches (including TRANSEUROPA festival in October 2013)
- A shared campaign to sign European Citizens’ Initiatives over 2013
- Supporting the AlterSummit process, the mobilisations planned for the 14/15th March and the AlterSummit to be held in Athens in June 2013, and introducing the Citizens’ Pact for Democracy into the concerns of the AlterSummit
- Producing a citizens’ manifesto for the European elections in 2014, and using it to put pressure on political groupings and individual candidates and MEPs
- Contributing to a Charter for European Citizenship
- Using an online wiki-constitution and other online platforms for discussion
- Contributing to the policy recommendations to be formulated by the Civil Society Alliance for the European Year of Citizens
- Engaging in calling for a Constitutional Convention and in putting forward proposals for how such a Convention should include and involve citizens
- Conducting surveys of public opinion.