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the global coalition for democracy

Step two: the breakthrough dinner

Step two: the breakthrough dinner

01-06-2003

In December 2002 we wrote two brief articles for the draft constitution (amendments) and we decided to initiate a working process within the Convention. But how could we do that as a couple of small NGOs (More Democracy/democracy international, IRI Europe)? So we tried to find co-inviters for a working dinner in the European Parliament scheduled for 20 January.

Alain Lamassoure, a French conservative Alain Lamassoure,
a French conservative

Jürgen Meyer, a German Social Democrat Jürgen Meyer, a German Social Democrat,
worked together to achieve a breakthrough for democracy in Europe.

 

 

 

 

We gained support from almost every political group: Heidi Hautala (Greens, Finland, MEP), Diana Wallis (Liberal, UK, MEP), Prof. Jürgen Meyer (Social Democrat, Germany, Convention member) and Alain Lamassoure (EPP, France, Convention member) agreed to be co-inviters, in addition to Bruno Kaufmann of the Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe and myself for More Democracy and Democracy International.

This working dinner was a great success. In retrospect it was the breaking points of our efforts. More than 10 Convention members from several different countries and from almost every group attended the meeting. Many more showed their interest by e-mail. Both federalists and EU-sceptics were represented. The atmosphere was very focussed.

Dining with Convention Members

After introductions by Andreas Gross (Vice-President, Council of Europe), Bruno Kaufmann (IRI Europe) and myself, a profound discussion took place. The referendum on the European constitution was at the centre of debate whilst the initiative process played only a minor role even in our own contributions. All but one speaker (a Convention member from Portugal) spoke in favour of a referendum. At the end of this meeting it was agreed that John Gormley, an alternate Convention member and leader of the Irish Green party, would draw up concrete draft texts for the referendum and the direct democracy ideas to be discussed at another meeting. Continue reading the story...

Direct Democracy is supported by members from opposing political camps. It is not a question of party politics...

Text by Dr. Michael Efler

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