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.
The Swiss tax system - a model for Europe?
As citizens, we de facto invest in our societies by paying taxes to the state. This results in an important democratic principle based on the idea of "no taxation without representation". Parliamentarisation of the EU and taxes are therefore connected, since the decision on the budget is the noblest right of any parliament. No redistribution without taxes. The EU must therefore aspire to tax sovereignty, at least partially. How a European tax sovereignty could look like, which both keeps the EU's promise of prosperity for all member states and prevents tax competition, shall be centrally discussed in this dialogue. It is worth taking a look at Germany's neighbour country, Switzerland, and its federal tax system. In analogy to the existing situation in the EU, visitors are invited to reflect together on what works well in the Swiss system, what doesn't and whether the whole system or certain aspects of it could be interesting for Europe.
Following the European elections and the Swiss referendum on tax reform, the European Democracy Lab and Mehr Demokratie im Dreiland would like to discuss the topic of taxes in Europe in the cultural villa Nellie Nashorn in Lörrach on 3 July 2019 at 7 pm.
Don't miss it! How do you envisage a good handling of taxes in Europe?
The event is open to the public and free of charge.
Reality check European elections: 28 elections for 1 Parliament
Visions for Europe: Voting together!
Over 50 percent of the around 427 million EU citizens entitled to vote voted directly on the members of the European Parliament at the end of May. But each country sets its own rules, procedures, dates, candidates and programmes for the European elections, and the weight of citizens' votes varies from country to country. The European elections thus become a kind of black box for the 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, Isabelle Maras 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.
Transnational Parties - Paths to a European Democracy?
The 2019 European Parliament elections were marked by special events: The Brexit, the rise of popularity of right-wing populist parties, a significant increase in voter turnout in many countries.
For the first time, new European parties were formed, which run transnationally for the elections. Even though they could not yet comply a Europe-wide party statute due to the negative resolution of the European Parliament in 2017, they committed to a unified appearance with a single programme in all EU member states they were present. As important actors in representative democracies, the current challenges in Europe raise the question of the potential these new European parties may have for a European democracy.
Looking back at the European elections and towards the future of Europe, the European Democracy Lab, the Local Partnership for Democracy Frankfurt (Oder), Słubfurt e.V., Verbündungshaus fforst as well as the ELSA Frankfurt Oder e.V. and the AStA Viadrina invite you to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a pan-European party statute on 11 July 2019, at 7 p.m. at Brückenplatz | Plac Mostowy 2.0 in Frankfurt (Oder).
We are looking forward to your visit!
Public and free event, more information can be found here.
Where Europe emerges: Border regions as laboratories for a decentralised and citizen-oriented Europe?
Border regions have benefited enormously from European integration. The internal market and the Schengen area have benefited them, ultimately moving them from their national periphery to the heart of Europe. In border regions, however, the functional and democratic deficits of the current "Europe of nation states" can also be seen through a magnifying glass: State borders still separate national legal areas from each other and prevent border regions from growing together - including those that used to form a unit. People on both sides of the border are subject to different laws in many areas of life and thus live back to back rather than door to door. Cross-border cooperation often remains necessary and desired, but often remains a laborious affair. But it is precisely there, in border regions, that various new formats of cooperation are developed and tested, which draw the contours of a different, decentralised and citizen-oriented Europe. What can we learn from the experience of border regions? What could be transferred to other regions? What role could and should regions play in Europe? What contribution can they make to the emergence of a post-national European democracy?
To discuss these questions, the Sønderjylland-Schleswig Region, REGIOPARL | Regional Parliaments Lab and the European Democracy Lab invite you to a discussion on the future of regions in Europe on 22.08 at 19.00 in the Aula of the Hans-Christiansen-Haus at Museumsberg Flensburg.
Don’t miss it!
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.