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Citizens Take Over Europe for a democratic reform of the EU

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Citizens Take Over Europe for a democratic reform of the EU


As a response to the delayed and ambiguous Conference on the Future of Europe, Democracy International was one of the founding members of the Citizens Take Over Europe coalition that was established in early spring 2020. The alliance aims to promote a citizens-centered European democracy starting with a democratic, transparent, and participatory Conference on the Future of Europe. 


Together with nearly 50 organizations and counting, the coalition has organized three online conferences, submitted an open letter to Angela Merkel and the EU institutions, drafted 10 principles for how a citizens’ conference should be run, and submitted an official petition to the European Parliament followed by a self-organized public hearing. 

Democracy International moderates the internal working group on policy and advocacy which monitors the political development of the Conference on the Future of Europe, as well as explores official and unofficial advocacy tools to influence civil society’s voice in the design and implementation of the Conference. The campaign goal of the Citizens Take Over coalition is to ensure citizens hold a central role in the Conference as equal partners alongside politicians and that the outcomes of the Conference are followed-up, also by beginning of a process of EU treaty change, if necessary. 

Ahead of the European elections in 2019, Democracy International ran the Now The Citizens campaign which called for more citizens’ participation in EU decision-making, including the introduction of randomly-selected citizens’ assemblies to develop concrete suggestions for Europe’s democratic future. There is a real and rare opportunity that the Conference on the Future of Europe may exactly include this, in the form of “citizens’ agoras” that are made up of randomly-selected citizens that are tasked with discussing specific topics related to Europe’s future in order to re-evaluate Europe’s priorities for the mid- and long-term goals of Europe and create a Europe that citizens can be proud to be a part of. As part of the Citizens Take Over Europe coalition, we are ensuring that a Europe for the citizens is not only a political promise, but also becomes a reality. 

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