Europe yes, but how?
A constructive dialogue series of the European Democracy Lab
Within the framework of the European Balcony Project in November 2018, the European Democracy Lab claimed – together with theatres, artists, citizens, schools, churches and trade unions – equal political rights for all European citizens in a broad, Europe-wide politico-artistical intervention.
In the follow-up project Europe yes, but how?, the positive momentum and the initiated debate will be continued and deepened in a series of citizen dialogues in cities in German border regions on the occasion of the European elections in 2019. The central demands of the European Balcony Project will be discussed and gradually explored with citizens and experts, to grasp how realistic or not their implementation is. Individual phrases of the manifesto for the proclamation of the European Republic serve as the basis of each citizens’ dialogue, which further translates the general political principle of equality into concrete political demands. The following aspects of institutionalizing European democracy will be put up for discussion:
European associations - Enablers for European civil society?
European civil society is in crisis. Citizens do not stand at the centre of European democracy – Brexit and nationalism divide society. Could European associations help strengthen Europeans' sense of identity and solidarity? From a legal standpoint, associations only exist in their home state. But European associations, like the European public company – Societas Europaea (SE) –, would be recognised throughout the EU. If the EU would offer a European associations statute, would national associations use them? For a border region like Aachen, the importance of these question is evident. The first event of the citizens' dialogue series Europe yes, but how? picks up this debate in Aachen’s Forum M. Together with the association We are Europe and the kick-off of their campaign Yes, we are a European Association-YEA!, the event calls on the EU to end the more than 30-year old debate and finally adopt a European Association Statute.
The discussion took place on the 12th of February at 6 p.m. at Forum M in the city centre of Aachen.
Social Justice in Europe - Reality and Visions
What happens to your pension insurance if, for example, you move to Austria or Hungary as a German? Who is responsible for your health care if you are a student moving to another EU member state? The topic of social justice deserves a closer look shortly before the European elections. There are still great inequalities within the EU. Social justice must be thought beyond national borders. So that we can become active in Europe, we need room for discussion! The European Democracy Lab invited together with the Jusos Passau and Gemeinsam leben und lernen in Europa e.V. to the second round of the dialogue series Europe yes, but how?
On the 11th of April at 7 p.m. we discussed social justice in Europe with SPD-MdL a.D. Bernhard Roos and political scientist Thomas Eibl at the ProLi Kino in Passau.
Reality check European elections: 28 elections for 1 Parliament
Visions for Europe: Voting together!
Around 400 million voters from the EU will vote directly and freely on the members of the European Parliament at the end of May. But each country sets its own rules, procedures, dates, candidates and programmes, and the weight of the citizens' votes varies from country to country. The European elections thus become a kind of black box for the European citizens.
Could a common suffrage strengthen the transparency and credibility of European politics and thus counter the increasing alienation and disappointment of many European citizens? Could joint elections be a legitimising force against anti-European voices and for equal rights for all EU-citizens?
Following the European elections, the European Democracy Lab and Ramesch Forum für Interkulturelle Begegnung e.V. would like to discuss this with Ulrike Guérot, Doris Pack and other guests and take the opportunity to make a reality check. We cordially invite you to attend on 04.07.2019 at 18:30 in the Festsaal of the Rathaus St. Johann in Saarbrücken.
We look forward to your visit!
The event is open to the public and free of charge.
The dialogues will focus on citizens’ personal concerns in order to shift the discussion about Europe from “something coming from the top” to discussing the topics that really interest the people politically the most. The idea is to get the EU out of its reputation of being an "elite project" and to open a space for thought on how a Europe could look like on the principle of general political equality and what concrete benefits or changes it would bring.
Central and methodically new about the citizens’ dialogues of the European Democracy Lab is the aspect of horizontal networking. While the current citizens' dialogues are often organized in a national-pyramidal way (citizen dialogues take place in different places of an EU member state, the results are filtered, evaluated and given "upwards", but remain a kind of "national evaluation" of the European discussions), the European Democracy Lab wants to deliberately discuss 'cross-border' in order to find out whether there are common, transnational civic interests as well as to promote a reciprocal emphatical perspective between citizens of neighboring countries.
Europe yes, but how? is a project driven by the European Democracy Lab, which is made possible by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. This constructive dialogue series intends to further the debate on European democracy, initiated by the European Balcony Project (2018), in German border regions before the European Parliament elections in 2019.