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Initiative for Europe – A Citizen's Agenda

Initiative for Europe – A Citizen's Agenda

06-11-2005

Conference Report

Sofia, Bulgaria, November 4-5, 2005

On November 4th-5th, the conference Initiative for Europe – A Citizen's Agenda was held. It was organized by the Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe and Balkan Assist, in cooperation with among others democracy international Arjen Nijeboer & Carsten Berg.

As Democracy International we were also on the panel. Jos Verhulst, from our Belgian member organisation Democratie.nu, was giving a very engaged and encouraging keynote speech, "We are the people". Carsten Berg made a presentation on "The Genesis of the ECI – a Democracy international activists perspective" including the prospects for a campaign to collect signatures throughout Europe for the European Citizen Initiative (ECI). Both presentations were received well.

The conference had about 90 participants, mainly local and national politicians, NGO people and some journalists. Most were from Bulgaria, the rest mainly from other East-European countries. There were also some 5 people from Switzerland (mainly government officials).

We were impressed by the good attendance, the positive outlook on direct democracy also from the politicians, and the willingness of the attendants to learn about direct democracy. We met very interesting people with whom we hope to cooperate in the future.

Arjen Nijeboer (Referendum Plattform), Carsten Berg (democracy international)

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