The Citizens’ Agora represents a link between the European Parliament and European civil society. It is a unique tool, in both structure and breadth, for discussing with citizens, issues on Parliament’s legislative agenda.
The Agora provides room for open debate with a view to building consensus or revealing diverging opinions within civil society on the analysis or the action to be undertaken to address Europe’s future challenges.
As the EU develops its next initiatives, European civil society organisations are invited to express their views, bringing forward their analyses and proposals and highlighting the role they are willing to take in future EU actions.
The Agora conclusions, as drafted by the civil society representatives, are submitted to the European and national institutions and widely disseminated by all those involved.
Tackling climate change is one of the major challenges facing our societies. In the light of the countless international studies (Stern report, UNFCCC and IPCC reports, etc.), the European institutions, together with all leading international players, now agree that the environmental, social, economic and cultural effects predicted could be immense.
Following the outcome of the recent World Climate Conference (Bali 2007), and pending the next global summits on the topic (Poznan in late 2008 and Copenhagen in late 2009), the European Union intends to use the whole of this year to look closely at all its policies in this field: energy, transport, agriculture, trade, the environment, development, social policy, research, education, industry etc.
The European Parliament is inviting European civil society, represented by 500 of its most important organisations, to express its views freely and frankly on this crucial matter and to put forward its analyses and draw up proposals, while also defining its own role in what is to be done.
Taking place in Parliament’s Chamber in the presence of representatives of various European institutions, the Citizens’ Agora promises to be a key moment for European democracy.
Following the success of the previous Agora, work will be organised around cross-sector workshops with the aim of attracting a socially and culturally diverse range of contributors and initiating a dialogue which will transcend the traditional sector-specific topics of structured civil society. These working parties will enable opposing points of view to be heard and thus allow a consensus or the full range of options within the debate to emerge.
The various aspects of this major European and world issue will be addressed simultaneously and from a number of angles in five workshops (Resources, Techniques, Solidarity, Economies and Education). Above and beyond the presentation of the main concepts, any specific proposals will be welcomed. Those taking part in the Agora will also need to be aware at all times of the need to synthesise their analyses, to prioritise and, above all, to ensure that all policies are sustainable.