The Commission, as ever trying to identify the roots of the current constitutional crisis, has come up with yet another approach, a Citizens' agenda for Europe" identyfying "delivery failures" as the main cause of EU's "legitimacy crisis".
After the two "no" votes on the Constitution in referendums held in 2005 (France and the Netherlands), the June 2005 European Council agreed to open a one-year "period of reflection". The idea, as earlier reported here, has been to attempt to launch debates in EU25 on the future of the Union. While EAEA welcomed the initiative as a step in the right direction, we have so far not seen much in terms of results. The much heralded "Plan D" for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate was also supported by EAEA, but has so far failed to gain broader acceptance and implementation is still open. The Austrian Presidency plans to use the European Council in June to take stock of the debates to date. The unclear mandate, the lack of genuine involvement from NGOs, the failure to initiate dialogue with civil society in Europe are likely to show that the results falls far short of expectations.
The Citizens' agenda is very broad and general in its approach to the current challenges. It mentions delivery of results as a remedy, and a rehash of existing policies and plans. It is not very innovative, nor particularly promising, as the need for a deeper consultation and integration with stakeholders are not yet visible.
• creation of a "single market for the 21st century";
• launching an "agenda for access and solidarity";
• improving European decision-making in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice
• organising a debate on the value added of enlargement and the Union's "absorption capacity" (its ability to take in new member states);
• developing the EU's global role.