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.
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 Gobiņ, 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.