Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Citizen ET in Lithuania - Programme

by Bjinse Sun Nov 24th, 2013 at 12:10:55 PM EST

I've received definite confirmation of the itinerary to Vilnius to attend the closing conference of the European Year of Citizens on 12 and 13 December as representative of European Tribune.

Closing Conference of the European Year of Citizens 2013 "How to make every year a year for citizens" | International level and Expert Meetings | Political meetings | Events | Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013

Opening addresses will be given by the leaders of Lithuania, the Vice-President of the EC and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, the first leader of Lithuania after the restoration of independence Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis.

During the Conference's two days, six topical discussions (sessions) will be held. Representatives of NGOs and members of the EC and EP will cover the following topics:

  • The role and future of civil society organisations in building Europe's future,
  • Shaping Europe from the bottom up,
  • Fostering EU citizens' rights,
  • New ways for citizens to influence policymakers,
  • Why wait to vote? Other ways to engage
  • Towards the 2014 European elections.

During the last plenary session (13 December), announcers will present the topic of each group and summarize the discussion.

While I've received little to no further information on the definite programme, the draft programme outlines this in further detail. A brief introduction on the EYCA and a request for input below the fold.


The EYCA, European Year of Citizens Alliance, is an umbrella organisation with the aim 'to advocate a broad understanding of active European citizenship'. As one does, there is a manifesto here, working groups there and a Facebook page.

Probably this is also of importance.

So far I have very little coherence of what it all means or what EYCA purports to achieve, though there is this:

EYCA | EYCAEYCA

National and European members of the EYCA will contribute to promoting the vision of active European citizenship by taking part in the EYCA thematic Working Groups which will put forward policy recommendations at the end of the European Year to contribute to making Union citizenship at the heart of the political agenda. For a long time, we have been advocating for citizenship to become a transversal dimension of European policies and a key priority in all areas of Union action so as to move forward a truly citizen-friendly European Union that would no longer be reduced to merely economic preoccupations. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned that, in the framework of the European Year of Citizens 2013, the EU citizenship tends to be confined to an individual rights-based approach and does not tackle the Europeans' sense of belonging to a common European Union.

Transversal:

Definition: A line that cuts across two or more (usually parallel) lines.

No wonder they invite ET, then, to come out and help.

However, a central event to the Vilnius conference is the handing over of the EYCA document with policy recommendations, so I'd guess most of these are already written.

For the conference, there are plenary sessions and several parallel sessions, with more detail in the draft programme. These parallel sessions are:

BLOCK 1 - The role of Civil Society in European Democracy
Thursday, 12 December, 15:00 - 16:30

1) The role and the future of civil society organisations in building our Europe
With Sophie Beernaerts, Head of Unit, `Citizens programme', DG Communication, European Commission

2) Shaping Europe from the bottom up!
With Andris Gobiņš, Member of European Economic and Social Committee, President of European Movement - Latvia

BLOCK 2 - EU citizenship in action - How citizens can influence policy-making
Friday, 13 December, 11:00 - 12:30

3) Fostering EU citizens' rights
With Chiara Adamo, Head of Unit, `Union citizenship and Free movement', DG Justice, European Commission

4) New ways for citizens to influence policymakers

BLOCK 3 - Participative and representative democracy: Two sides of a same coin
Friday, 13 December, 14:00 - 15:30

5) Why wait to vote? Other ways to engage
With Professor Leonidas Donskis, Member of European Parliament - ALDE/LT (tbc)

6) Towards the 2014 European Elections
With Aleyda Hernandez Laviades - Policy Unit, Directorate General for Communication European Parliament

Particularly the parallel sessions offer Q&A with the panels and thus allow opportunities to bring forth input/ideas from ET.

Below the diary I've created a poll to streamline ET's choices democratically. I thus request votes for attendance for those sessions ET readers would like to be briefed about or where I can be present to deliver input. Once this programme is sorted out, I will launch a second diary (with a week or so) to discuss possible input and general aims for the ambassadorship of ET.

Poll
At what parallel sessions would you like to have ET represented?
. BLOCK1 - role and the future of civil society organisations in building our Europe 0%
. BLOCK1 - Shaping Europe from the bottom up! 25%
. BLOCK2 - New ways for citizens to influence policymakers 25%
. BLOCK2 - New ways for citizens to influence policymakers 50%
. BLOCK3 - Why wait to vote? Other ways to engage 0%
. BLOCK3 - Towards the 2014 European Elections 0%

Votes: 4
Results | Other Polls
Display:
so glad you are doing this Bjinse!

thanks for the update

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Nov 24th, 2013 at 04:35:42 PM EST
I have no idea which stream you should join. Most of them seem applicable to ET. Have you had any thoughts?
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Nov 24th, 2013 at 06:09:13 PM EST
I've some thoughts, though they are based on my preconceived notions on what is important for ET.

However, a little lower, askod succinctly voiced one of these:

So I would look at the sessions from the perspective of where to ask uncomfortable questions about the scope and relevance of a democratic discussion that misses that several memberstates (and effectively their representation in the Council) is put under the guardianship of EU federal institutions that has little to none public input.

My thoughts are that if ET, as unorganised organisation, eventually aspires for actual influence at the cogs and levers of EU institutions, it would be worthwhile to deepen understanding where and how to tweak existing levers or, at minimum, be able to formulate thoughts where leveraging influence would be most effective. If ET is interested in pursuing a watchkeeping function, focus could be put on a better understanding of the EU institutions and the existing entry points and routes of EU legislation.

Considering this conferences is centered around citizen initiatives, I'd think the optimum for this occasion lies in panel sessions 1, 4, 5.

If the point is to exploit the occasion and swing pointy questions aimed at EU representatives (which they can then ignore) any panel should suffice, though 1,3, 6 offer interesting targets.

by Bjinse on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 at 04:34:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've no idea what ET should be interested in.
We're kind of a loose collective.

Perhaps that's something to consider, where can you find out how the EU can interface with loose collectives - perhaps the "bottom up" topic?

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 at 07:36:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bjinse:
If ET is interested in pursuing a watchkeeping function, focus could be put on a better understanding of the EU institutions and the existing entry points and routes of EU legislation

I think that sounds like a good use of this occassion. Perhaps then less pointed and more genuin questions about how the systems as presented should be understood in light of the ongoing constitutional crisis. Even if their standard model appears to be limited to a run of the mill liberal democracy, they might have interesting thoughts outside of the prepared presentation.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 2nd, 2013 at 01:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The poll seems to lack:

Block 2 : 3) Fostering EU citizens' rights

(Not a complaint. Thanks for this, Bjinse).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 at 02:02:16 AM EST
Thanks, re-added. I had to give the poll several tries yesterday to make all options visible. I hope they stay put now.
by Bjinse on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 at 04:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the main question is what can be questioned at each instance and to whom.

My first reacion at seeing this programme is that it is a pre-crisis liberal democracy programme. Nothing about the Commission and the ECB running member states into the ground. Maybe in the plenary sessions (though I doubt it).

So I would look at the sessions from the perspective of where to ask uncomfortable questions about the scope and relevance of a democratic discussion that misses that several memberstates (and effectively their representation in the Council) is put under the guardianship of EU federal institutions that has little to none public input. Don't know where that is though. 2,4,5 if I had to guess.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 25th, 2013 at 02:22:23 AM EST
Re: Uncomfortable Question

Can always ask why the ECB is imposing Economic Policies straight from looney-ville.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Nov 27th, 2013 at 01:37:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The PC answer should be that ECB operates independent from the EU and that they can't possibly answer on that, them being EU representatives and all.

But methinks you overestimate the level of such general understanding on this conference.

Pointy questions on the opprobrium of tolerating EU citizen input with almost enough political leverage to make a dent in a lump of butter, these would likely be more appropriate.

Examination and answer - The procedure step by step - European Citizens' Initiative - European Commission

The Commission is not obliged to propose legislation as a result of an initiative. If the Commission decides to put forward a legislative proposal in response to a citizens' initiative, this proposal is submitted to the legislator (generally the European Parliament and the Council or in some cases only the Council) and, if adopted, it becomes law.
by Bjinse on Thu Nov 28th, 2013 at 08:49:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Way to go, Europe!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 2nd, 2013 at 09:47:17 AM EST
Association des Journalistes Européens, section France: Presseurop annonce son arrêt le 20 décembre (2 décembre 2013)
Presseurop va s'arrêter le 20 décembre. Notre contrat avec la Commission européenne, son bailleur, se termine à la fin de l'année. Le 19 juin dernier, la Commission a publié un appel d'offre qui, si nous l'avions remporté, nous aurait permis de poursuivre notre activité. Elle l'a toutefois retiré le 12 juillet, notamment suite à la parution de deux articles critiques -- dans The Times (1) et le Wall Street Journal (2) -- vis-à-vis du contenu de l'appel d'offres et pour des raisons budgétaires (3).

Depuis, l'Association de la presse internationale (API) a fait part à la DG COMM et à sa commissaire de tutelle, la vice-présidente Viviane Reding, de son soutien à Presseurop, en raison de son indépendance éditoriale. De nombreux députés européens, à l'initiative de Doris Pack et Morten Lokegaard, se sont mobilisés pour que le budget alloué aux projets multimédia soit augmenté, dans le but de financer Presseurop en 2014 en attendant la publication d'un nouvel appel d'offre. Cela a abouti à l'allocation de 6,8 millions d'euros supplémentaires dans le budget de l'UE pour 2014 voté le 20 novembre.

Malgré une audience en hausse continue depuis quatre ans (600 000 visiteurs uniques par mois) et malgré le fait qu'une évaluation indépendante (4) a recommandé à la Commission la poursuite du projet, celle-ci persiste à ne pas vouloir les utiliser pour Presseurop, condamnant ainsi le site à disparaître purement et simplement, et les quelque 70 personnes -- journalistes, éditeurs et traducteurs -- qui le font, à perdre leur emploi.

This is truly inexplicable.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 2nd, 2013 at 09:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely the market will provide. Just like in Greece.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 2nd, 2013 at 01:32:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]