Defying the crisis – Impulse for active European Citizenship
ENoP Public Conference Defying the crisis – Impulse for active European CitizenshipIm 2014, with the next European elections European citizens will be able to elect the President of the European Commission directly for the first time in history. This was regarded as a big step forward in the Europeanization process by panelists, as active European citizenship is the root of democracy. However, right wing movements such as “Attack” in Bulgaria or “Golden Dawn” in Greece increasingly challenge European integration. Underpinned by the high youth unemployment and general economic instability, anti-European movements impacts the creation of a common European identity and may decrease the level of democratic participation.
The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung was represented by Dr. Sergey Lagodinsky, Head of Department EU/North America, on the Panel “Political participation of EU citizens as a chance for Europe: Examples of the work of ENoP member foundations”. He stressed that transparency and the democratic implementation of activities are key principles to create ownership and give active citizenship a new face, together with in addition to street -, innovation -, and know-how credibility. He also highlighted that bringing the perspectives of other EU countries into Germany is crucial for overcoming mistrust and building of a common European future.
The conference was organized by the ENoP Working Group Citizenship within the framework of the European Citizenship Year 2013. Hosted by Fondazione Magna Carta, the conference was an excellent opportunity to bring the European-wide expertise of political foundations with different political affiliations and other actors together to debate pertinent problems and solutions to current societal challenges.