01 July, 2006
European Citizens' Convention
After the success of the First European Citizens’ Convention, held in Genoa in December 2005, the UEF organised the Second European Citizens’ Convention, which took place in Vienna on 28-29 June. It was jointly organised by UEF-Austria, JEF-Austria and UEF supranational focusing on the theme: “United States of Europe?!”.
Jointly organised by UEF Austria, JEF Austria and UEF supranational, the Convention assembled 200 participants from all over Europe: representatives of the European Commission, the Austrian EU presidency, members of the European Parliament and of national Parliaments as well as civil society and the general public. It analysed and discussed the challenges Europe is facing, looking at various policy fields. Should we call for the United States of Europe, as the writer Victor Hugo did 150 years ago? were among the questions that were tackled at the Convention.

Focusing on the theme of “The United States of Europe?” – entitled after the recently launched publication by Belgian Prime Minister Guy VERHOFSTADT – the participants analysed and discussed the challenges which Europe is facing in various policy fields in the framework of four workshops.

The Convention was a response of the UEF to various policy papers published by the European Institutions in the months following the launch of the Period of Reflection in the late summer of last year. Following the European Commission’s Plan D on Dialogue, Debate and Democracy and its White Paper on a European Communication Policy, the discussion stressed the importance of the active participation of the Civil Society in constructing the future of Europe.

The Convention preceded the XXI UEF Congress, which took place on 30 June-2 July in Vienna. This biannual event convened two hundred members of the UEF, coming from as much as 20 countries. Several important elections took place, and the UEF’s policy line for the next years was defined.

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