Brussels, 7 June 2006
This conference was held on the eve of the June European Council, was done
in order to review the debate on the future of Europe and to get an overview of
the results of the national and European debates that have been organized in
the 25 States Members, as well as to contribute to benchmarking the national
and European contributions to Plan D.
The debate was chaired by Mr Alejo
Vidal-Quadras Roca MEP
Vice President of the European Parliament in charge of information policy.
The following issues were discussed:
Is Plan D working? - speaker: Jo
Leinen MEP, Chairman of the
constitutional Affairs Committee
Is Plan D producing any new ideas
and techniques to reconnect citizens to Europe?-
speakers: Luis Herrero-Tejedor MEP, Rapporteur on the white paper,
Benoit Derenne , Fondation pour
les générations futures, promoter of citizens panels, Elodie Fazi , Civil society contact group
Stephen Fox, Senior Policy Advisor, Scottish Executive
In the afternoon session, the discussion How to
put the Dynamic in Plan D? was carried on with Margot Wallström, Vice President of European Commission , with the
contribution of two agents provocateurs: Willy
de Backer, Editor in chief of EurActiv.com and Giles Meritt, Secretary General, Friends of Europe.
Following speakers were invited for the panel:
Michael Stabenow (President of the Association de la Presse
Daniel Spoel (Permanent forum for civil society) and
Richard Upson (Author of a new ECAS report on the citizens´
right to know).
The conclusions made about the whole process of the plan D were rather
optimistic and many good elements came out of the conference. Here are the main
suggestions that were made:
European Union should not be afraid of talking about the themes that are of
great interest according to the great majority of the European citizens.
effort should be made to attract ALL the citizens, whatever his/her background
or his/her job is.
European Union should try and look more attractive, more imaginative and use
message delivered as well as the focuses should be made clearer.
project of the European Union has to be clearer as well as visionary.
Better coordination is important. The national
parliaments as well as the national governments should be more active. The
information should also be more decentralized.
some people suggested to have more European symbols and maybe to organize an
annual conference for civil society.
All these fruitful discussions will be taken into account during the
next European Council -which will take place on the next 15/16th
June- and nourish the discussion about the future of the European construction.