Yesterday marked the official launch of Europe+ in the European Parliament, a broad grass-roots alliance in which the European Movement International joins over 40 civil society organisations to call for renewed and better functioning of democracy in the EU.
Europe+ exists to encourage institutional reform and an open and transparent treaty revision process that would reinforce representative democracy, building on the example of the Convention on the Future of Europe, the alliance’s members will create spaces to discuss, advocate and campaign for reform.
Jo Leinen MEP, President of the European Movement Internationalstated that ‘Europe+ has been founded in times where Europe has been facing stark political and economic challenges – and arguments in favour of a renewal of European democracy, especially from civil society organisations, are needed to counter Eurosceptic arguments’.
Yesterday’s launch saw Jo Leinen MEP (European Movement International), Assya Kavrakova (European Citizens Action Service), Allan Päll (European Youth Forum), Alexandrina Najmowicz (European Civic Forum), Romain Wolff (European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions), Conny Reuter (SOLIDAR) present the alliance from the perspectives of their individual organisations on why they want to see a more open, democratic and inclusive European Union. The civil society organisations were joined by Richard Howitt MEP (UK, S&D), who provided his reflections.
Mr Leinen continued ‘there is no better place than the European Parliament to start this dialogue – with this house taking decisions daily that affect citizens and address civil society concerns’.
The European Parliament as the venue for the launch is no coincidence. Last week, Europe+ began its campaign to engage with MEPs in a constructive dialogue to ensure civil society participates fully in this new legislative term through the issuing of an open letter to all MEPs.