"From April 2012, European citizens will enjoy a new right, which will give them a stronger voice in EU affairs when the European Citizens’ Initiative enters into force. From that moment on, they will be able to express their demands in a new, unprecedented way. By collecting one million signatures across Europe, they can call upon the European Commission to propose or change European legislation. The European Economic and Social Committee has been an advocate of citizens’ rights to participate since the beginning of the European project.
The European Year of Citizens in 2013 is an unparalleled opportunity for the European
Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to underline the direct role of Europe’s 500 million citizens in building unity and prosperity, fostering integration and nurturing social solidarity.
This publication is a summary of the preliminary findings of the study commissioned by the Diversity Europe Group and conducted by the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), entitled Societies outside Metropolises – The role of civil society organisations in facing populism. It aims at identifying the factors influencing citizens’ choices in favor of populism in societies in non-metropolitan areas. It also highlights the role played by CSOs in preventing and opposing populism.
The European Economic and Social Committee is pleased to invite you to a comprehensive exhibition designed by Deyrolle pour l'Avenir,celebrating the European Year of Citizens and exploring the meaning and implications of citizenship.
The European Union is at its core a model of transnational governance based, inter alia, on democracy and the rule of law. There are two key findings from our survey: On the one hand, that civil dialogue is based on the primary or constitutional law of this Union and addresses the specific challenges of transnational democracy. On the other, that implementation remains a challenge.
This is the fourth edition of the Civil Society Day, so this initiative is rather young however with a solid ground. And let me tell you why. The Civil Society Day is the living proof of a partnership which is dear to me and to many of us in the EESC, a partnership between the EESC and European civil society expert networks in the form of what we call the Liaison Group. It is in the Liaison Group meetings last year that the civil society alliance for the European Year of Citizens was conceived and took form. This alliance is our partner for this conference and its members, European networks and national networks are here with us today.
Introduced on 1 April 2012 by the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Citizens' Initiative is the most important instrument of participative democracy in the European Union. By collecting at least 1 million signatures from at least 7 EU Member States, citizens have the right to call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act or modify the existing one. This Guide is to provide you with an idea of how to get involved.
This afternoon we would like to make an assessment of the work we have done together and I would like us to have an open and honest debate about the way forward for this group to function in the best way possible. Thank you very much for the four contributions we received to our questionnaire. We wanted to survey all members before this meeting, but I believe this format, this space and time is also a good opportunity to assess and talk about the future prospects. It is also my last meeting as co-chair of the EESC Liaison Group.