Let’s give real European ambition to the citizens’ consultations! [Lapsed]

Resolution submitted by: Political Commission 1: Institutional Affairs and Governance

Adopted by the Federal Committee, Skopje, March 25th 2018
Lapsed by the Federal Committee, FCHome2020, October 25th, 2020

JEF Europe,

A. Welcoming the willingness to relaunch the European project by putting citizens back at the heart of the project and launching a debate on the future of the European Union;

B. Believing that citizens’ consultations can be an opportunity to bring European citizens closer together and more engaged in the European project;

C. Fearing that the consultations will not lead to an in-depth renovation of the European treaties if their organisation does not guarantee a transnational debate, as well as the participation of European citizens;

D. Reaffirms that citizens’ consultations are a useful means with which to progress towards a more democratic European Union while actively involving European citizens.

E. Observing that the method currently proposed by the Member States is not satisfactory because it tends to be purely based on national consultations with the absence of a transnational consultation and debates at the European level;

F. Bearing in mind that the methodology of the consultations may vary between member states;

G. Fearing that citizens’ consultations taking place separately in 27 countries will lead to 27 national projects for Europe instead of facilitating the emergence of one common European project supported by citizens across the EU;

H. Staying attentive to the shape that the final process and method of the citizens’ consultations will take, as well as their objectives and analysis of the outcome;

I. Regretting that the consultations, as proposed today, will only last from April to October 2018, which is insufficient to conduct a deep discussion on the future of Europe;

J. Regretting the lack of involvement of the European Parliament in this consultation process;

K. Regretting that not all Member States decided to participate in the consultation process, thus excluding some European citizens from the process;

L. Regretting that the results of the consultations will only lead to a roadmap endorsed by heads of States and government at the 2018 December European Council, thus leaving the overall process very much based on intergovernmentalism;

JEF Europe therefore:

1) Asks that the citizens’ consultations process be participative, inclusive, pluralist, transparent and that it respects democratic principles.

2) Asks that the method be adapted to the main challenges associated with the implementation of such consultations. The method should at least respect the following criteria:

a. Ensuring the representation of all citizens and civil society, including through easily accessible tools, for example online tools

b. Creating a pan-European debate based on a common European project and encouraging transnational discussions

c. Putting the European general interest first

) Stresses that citizens consultations should not be left unused or limited to a single shot event, and be accompanied with debates, exchanges, conferences in the territories (including cross-border events) involving as many citizens as possible;

4) Stresses that the principles of democratic and inclusive methods, participation and representation can best be achieved through involving civil society organizations with their expertise and experience in consultations and democratic work as well as their established networks;

5) Stresses that JEF Europe will be attentive to the results of the consultations which shall not be kept just as a communication exercise for member states and an unwelcome roadmap for the Heads of States and government but that the results will be used to give a mandate to the European parliament for the next elections to call a European Constituent Assembly;

6) Calls for a fair, transparent and Europe-wide communication and analysis of the results of the consultations, so that they translate into concrete political proposals for the future of the European Union;

7) Insists that the Member States and European institutions include representatives of European youth organisations in the experts groups in charge of analysing the results of the consultations, because all part of society should be involved in the shaping of Europe’s future;

8) Strongly encourages the organisers of citizens consultations to continually include members of civil society and youth organisations, not only during the consultation process but also during the analysis of the results of the consultations;

9) Calls for the time reserved for the consultations to be extended beyond October 2018;

10) Further recommends that the consultation process leads to the European Constitution or at least to in-depth reform of the existing treaties.

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