A Republic of Europe? Pipe dream or urgent necessity if we are to create an authentic Europe of citizens, a Europe in which citizens enjoy equality, that is to say a Europe of equal rights?
A new initiative inspired by the work of Ulrike Guerot at the European Democracy Lab and others is calling on the European Parliament to:
"...open a new constitutional phase to make the European Union become that “Common Home” that we need."
The campaign was launched on Saturday, 15 February at the presitigious new Centro Rogers Community Hall in Scandicci, near Florence.
Organisers aim to promote the idea of transforming the EU into:
"the Republic of Europe: a federal and democratic republic, able to guarantee equal rights and duties to all citizens"
To this end, they are asking for signatures on a petition which calls on the European Parliament to take a position on this issue, by means of a resolution.
Meanwhile, municipalities are being asked to pass a motion which commits them to supporting the transformation of the EU into the Republic of Europe.
The motion commits participating councils to:
* Install road signals on the borders of the Municipality with the words “City for the Republic of Europe”
* Promote this proposal and inform other Municipalities, including foreign ones, through the existing institutional relations
* Promote opportunities for information and awareness on European issues and on the constitution of the Republic of Europe
The Scandicci conference was organised under the patronage of the European Parliament and with the organisational support of the Scandicci municipal council.
Former Italian MP Davide Mattiello was the driving force behind the event with the support of the Welcoming Italy Foundation he chairs and ATMOS.net a youth organsiation promoting active citizenship.
The speakers included Simona Bonifei MEP, Sandro Fallani, Mayor of Scandicci, Gerardo Santomauro, Mayor of Ventonne, Ulrike Guerot, European Democracy Lab and Eric Jozsef, Europea Now as well as Abdullhai Hamed, President of Generation Ponte Roger Casale, Secretary General of New Europeans and Virgilio Dastoli, President of the Italian European Movement and many other civil society leaders.
Jorgen Fryednes, manager of the island of Utoya in Norway, scene of the terrorist attack by the right-wing extremist Anders Breivik in 2011 also spoke at the event.
Speaking after the launch, Roger Casale said:
“The One Europe project is exactly the kind of bold, exciting and bottom-up project that can really galvanise the debate about the future of Europe.
We were delighted to collaborate with One Europe and to feature this as the first event we were able to show-case through the #Europefuturefringe.
This kind of inclusive bottom-up collaboration between civil society, local authorities , national representatives and MEPs is exactly what is needed for a productive conversation about the future of Europe.
It was also great to hear voices from outside the EU. The future of Europe as a community of values is a much wider debate than just about the future of the EU. All voices are welcome, not just those of EU citizens”.