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European Year of Citizens 2013: Call for an EU Convention instead of non-binding debates

European Year of Citizens 2013: Call for an EU Convention instead of non-binding debates

08-01-2013

Brussels, 9 January 2013: One day before the official launch of the European Year of Citizens 2013 to take place in Dublin on 10 January 2013, Democracy International demands to convene an official and democratic EU Convention instead of hosting a range of non-binding events across the EU.

“The European Year of Citizens 2013 is a great initiative to inform citizens about their rights and to discuss with them the future of the EU. Yet this is not enough. In order to create a Europe of the citizens, EU citizens and civil society together with politicians must elaborate a revised EU Treaty that all EU citizens must approve by direct vote”, says Gerald Häfner, Chairman of Democracy International. 

Democracy International – the global coalition for more direct democracy in Europe and the world – therefore calls upon the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the governments of the Member States to convene a Convention according to Article 48 of the EU Treaty (TEU). 

Key demands are that the EU Convention has the greatest possible democratic legitimacy and that adequate time must be given for serious and thorough deliberation. Also, the Convention must operate with full transparency, have all its meetings open to the public, and include proposals from civil society in its deliberations. EU citizens must approve the proposals that the Convention will elaborate by direct vote. 

“The European Year of Citizens must make citizens to actors and not merely spectators in order to secure a long-lasting and prosperous democratic future of the EU. An EU Convention and EU referendums are the right means to achieve this goal”, Gerald Häfner concludes his remarks. 

Press contact: Cora Pfafferott, +49 2203 102 1475 (office), +49 176 95437 379 (GSM)

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