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9th of May - EU SIGN DAY - Self-organized action for equal dignity for Participatory Democracy

How to use the existing instrument of participatory democracy and how to improve them.
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VirginiaFiume
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Country: BELGIUM
City: Bruxelles
Organizations: EUMANS, Science for Democracy, Citizens Take Over Europe, ECI Campaign, Lesbiche Bologna

Re: 9th of May - EU SIGN DAY - Self-organized action for equal dignity for Participatory Democracy

Post by VirginiaFiume »

EU SIGN DAY - Kick-Off presentation for citizens and civil society organisations - 15/4 - 6 PM CET

This year you as a person, and organisations, association, networks you belong to can do something special to celebrate Europe Day: you can support the 14 citizens committees currently engaged in one of the biggest challenge and opportunity available for European Citizens: the European Citizens Initiative, the only institutional participatory democracy instrument available for citizens to raise their voice with the EU institutions and actually oblige them to act on specific matters.

EU SIGN DAY will be a self-organised initiative climaxing on the 9th of May that aims to inform as many European Citizens as possible about their right to shape the future of Europe with one (or more signatures) on the European Citizens Initiative.

On the 15th of April from 6 PM CET till 7.15 PM CET, the promoters of this initiative will present it to everyone interested in actively promoting European democracy in the framework of the activities already organised for the celebrations of Europe Day.

Agenda:
- Why European Citizens Initiatives are a powerful instrument for the (Conference on) the Future of Europe
- Why the European Public Sphere needs more awareness on the European Citizens Initiatives
- EU SIGN DAY presentation
- How organisations and networks can support EU SIGN DAY

They already announced their presence
The promoters of the European Citizens Initiatives Stopgloblawarming.eu, Unconditional Basic Income, Voters Without Borders, Save Bees and Farmers, Stop Finning, Reclaim your face, Freedom to Share.

The coalition Citizens Take Over Europe, with EUMANS, Alliance for Europe, Democracy International, Europe Future Fringe, OpenEUDebate

The meeting is public and recorded - You can join at this zoom link https://zoom.us/s/97771031515
The meeting will be available in Italian and English thanks to the volunteer interpreters
Coordinator of EUMANS
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VirginiaFiume
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Re: 9th of May - EU SIGN DAY - Stakeholders Presentation and Slides

Post by VirginiaFiume »



On the 15th of April we have presented the EU Sign Day Initiative to potential partners and organisations who want to join Europe Day is EU SIGN DAY.

As an attachment, a presentation you can use to invite individuals and organisations to support this action day and to contribute to push the topics that are matter of the European Citizens Initiatives in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe and advocate together for a reform to guarantee equal digntiy to participatory democracy.
Attachments
EU SIGN DAY - Presentation for Partners.pdf
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VirginiaFiume
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Debriefing EESC Meeting - Re: 9th of May - EU SIGN DAY - Self-organized action for equal dignity for Participatory Democ

Post by VirginiaFiume »

On Thursday 15th of April, I had the first of the meetings lined up as a follow up to our letter to Commissioner Vera Jouova and the EU institiutions.

I met Kinga Joo (President of the Diversity Unit in the European Economic and Social Committee) and Charlotte Rive, of the European Citizens Initiative Task force.

The team had seen our proposals for information in advance (link)

They described me what the EESC does for ECIs:

- invite in the Plenary of ECIs with more than 100.000 signatures
- Invite at the segments network meetings
- Regular information on new ECIs to the members of EESC
- Organisation of the ECI DAy

My impression from the meeting is that they are reluctant to push too much on the promotion of the possibility to sign the European Citizens Initiatives, and they focus on the information on the instrument in itself, which is already something that we have identified as one of our challenges.
Also, in the mayor part of the cases, the instruments of information available are "waiting to be found" rather than proactively promoted. However, I think there is space for some important changes.

These are some information on the topics we have discussed the most during the meeting and that can be leveraged for the all EU SIGN DAY coalition as well as for individual ECIs.

1) ECI DAY - 3 and 4 of June. This year the ECIs Day will also include a panel on the role of ECIs in the Participation infrastructure of the European Union, starting from the Conference on the Future of Europe + each ECI will have a digital webinar available on the 4th of June (reply to the email that you should all have received on this opportunity)
2) Increase the visibility of the ECIs on EESC website - they are working on it and on other ways to include ECIs in the Conference on the Future of Europe information kit
3) Update of the European Democracy Passport - https://www.eesc.europa.eu/eptac/en/ - they will present the new version during ECI Day. Currently this pamphlet is made available within EESC, in the Europea Direct Centers, and the European Representations. If we want they can send copies to the different ECIs Promoters. One idea that I had is that this one could be THE document for which we ask for the direct mailing in the homes of the European Citizens, what do you think?
4) ECIs Ambassadors - https://europa.eu/citizens-initiative/e ... ssadors_en - they suggested get in touch with the ECIs Ambassadors with the information of the EU SIGN DAY, but also about the individual ECIs, to make sure that these individuals can help in supporting the initiative's information at a local level. They highlighted how this is a new experiment of the European Commission, so we might have the margins to increase the scope of the activities covered by this role. Any volunteer for this?
5) Inform the Representations of the EU Commission in the Member States about EU Sign Day so that they can inject the information in other activities they are doing (any volunteer for this?)
6) The Civil Society Liaison Group can be another channel to reach out to EESC members
7) Venues and Services in the Economic and Social Committee - now of course everything is closed for the pandemic, but they let us know that ECIs promoters can reach out to ask for venues and potentially to coordinate some media relations (although on this I think it highly depends on the topic of the ECI)
8) Involving the European Council in our outreach for the EU SIGN DAY, to try and involve the Member States in this informative initiative

Overall I tried to convene the message that we need more systematic and transparency changes to address the essential need of ECIs promoters: getting our proposals out there among the EU Citizens. It is definetely an important line of communication, however, I think for systematic changes we might need more the support of the European Parliament and the Commission.

Any idea on how to use this information it is more than welcome.
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VirginiaFiume
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Agenda Meeting 22 April Re: EU SIGN DAY 9th May

Post by VirginiaFiume »

Hello - please find here the agenda for the Weekly Eumans meeting tonight where we discuss the political context, the strategy and the action for the 9th of May EU SIGN DAY 22nd of April at 6PM CET at the usual zoom link

This is the recording of last week's Kick Off Meeting with very good speeches from different supporters.

Topics and Agenda for the 22nd of April Meeting

Name of the initiative
Some of the co-organisers raised some concerns about the name and the domain.
EU SIGN DAY is familiar and we already started to spread it, but someone thinks SIGN ECIs DAY can be more clear in the message, increase curiosity in the ECIs as an instrument as well as more grammatically correct in English. We are aiming to go live with the website maximum on the 28th of April, to then have 10 full days of promotion.
Alicia is available to adapt the logo if we want, I didn't feel like deciding for everyone so please consider filling this survey :)
(deadline: Thursday, 22 April 5.59 PM CET)
You can vote here - https://forms.gle/E8ekidRVMoNv4trX6

AGENDA FOR THE WEEKLY MEETING


- Social Media Brainstorming
brainstorming guided by Alicia to identify the pillars of the social media assets that will be made available for ECIs promoters, partners and supporters.

- Press Conference
Do we want to organise a press conference before the 9th of May to present the Survey Results, the Policy Paper and the initiative and which can be a good date? We should only organise this if we have meaningful connections with the media we can leverage and if we think it is helpful - otherwise I think is more important to use our energies to inform as many organisations across the EU as possible about the possibility to support and share the EU SIGN DAY and to try and get some targeted media talking about the Survey and the initiative.

- Event on the 9th of May
What type of event do we want to organise on the 9th of May? With the Coalition Citizens Take Over Europe we will organise something in the time slot between on the 9th of May 5.30 PM and 7.00 PM after the conclusion of the inauguration of the Conference on the Future of Europe, ideally also trying and invite the European Federalists and other organisations? Do we find it helpful to join such an event and/or we feel there is the need for something different?

New Supporters:
- The3Million
- Civico Europa
- Stand Up for Europe (who already invited us to curate a slot during an event they will organise on the 6th of May with the coalition Citizens Take Over Europe)

New Supporters for the YouGov Survey on the real knowledge among European citizens of the European Citzens Initiative Instrument:

Freedom to share
Democracy International
+
Voters WIthout Borders
StopGlobalWarming.eu
Unconditional Basic Income
We might consider launching a fundraising as EUMANS for this Survey.
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VirginiaFiume
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Reply by President Sassoli - Letter to Jourova Equal Dignity for Participatory Democracy

Post by VirginiaFiume »

Dear all,
Please find attached the letter that I have received from President of the European Parliament David Sassoli to our letter. Once again, I think the Parliament is the best political ally for our proposal

I think it is very very interesting, and so far the most politically interesting.
You find the full text attached below.

Here my key highlights:

1) He reports on the new legislative text, highlighting the following achievements:
- Improvement in supporting the organisers through the online platform
- contact points at national level (The ECI Ambassadors https://europa.eu/citizens-initiative/e ... ssadors_en)
- increse communication and more transparency in the follow up

2) "Let me recall that for instance the online collaborative platform was built on the budgetary pilot project, proposed by the European Parliament {***Would be interesting to understand what he means with budgetary pilot project]

3) Support the request of lowering the age of support to 16 years (rejected by the Council)

4) Rules of Procedure of the Parliament had been revised, to ensure that the EP holds a Plenary after the public hearing and can adopt a resolution assessing the political support to the ECIs

5) "We agree with the issue you raise, in particular the awareness about the existence of the ECI in the European Public sphere,, is of crucial importance for the long term success of the instrument ">>>> 'Article 18 ECI Regulation": "Raise public awareness about the existence, objectives, and functioning of the European Citizens Initiative through communication activities and information campaign"
>>>>The EP is the only institution so far is the only one that replied to our letter with a key reference on the specific objectives of the ECI, as opposed to the Economic and Social Committee or Commissioner Jourova, who mainly focused on the information on the activation of the instrument.

6) Final paragraph "we have an exceptional obligation to protect our democracies from the impact of the pandemic, this includes the need to promote this unique instrument for the participation of EU Citizens in the democratic life of the European Union".
Attachments
EP-Sassoli-ReplyJourova.pdf
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Report Meeting European Parliament Civil Society Outreach Unit + Agenda Meeting 29th April

Post by VirginiaFiume »

Tonight 29th of April at 6 PM we will hold the EUMANS Weekly Meeting at 6 PM CEST at this link https://zoom.us/j/97771031515

Agenda:
Updates on the EU SIGN DAY launch and networking efforts
How can we use the Digital Platform for the Conference on the Future of Europe futureu.europa.eu

Guests:
Antonio Argenziano, Secretary GEF and Union of European Federalist
Gerald-Christian Heintges, promoter of the initiatives for the creation of the European Association Statutes

****
Meeting with the European Parliament Civil Society Unit attended by Virginia Fiume (Eumans/stopglobalwarming.eu and Giulia Finotti (Ecit Foundation/voters without borders)

DG- Comm off the European Parliament.
Civil Society Outreach Unit - created after the Elections in 2019.
They are the team behind the "This Time I am voting campaign".
They manage the relationship with civil society organisations who register through this platform https://together.europarl.europa.eu/organisation/europe
Attached you can find the presentation [they offer networking opportunities, communication partnership, an Handbook of all the Services available for engaged citizens,..)

With regards to our proposals to include the ECIs topics in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe, they recommended all of us to add the ECIs topics, as well as the events we organize with our initiatives and any report/consultation, etc into the futureu.europa.eu platform. We already did it for StopGlobalWarming.eu and for the overall proposals of the EU Sign Day initiative.

They really appreciated the EU SIGN DAY concept and they think the fact that we are backed by Citizens Take Over Europe coalition is quiet important, because it is a coalition that is recognized as dynamic and impactful.

They will also send a message about the EU SIGN DAY to the network of EPLO (European Parliament Liasion Offices) in the different member states asking for sharing and giving visibility to their own networks of civil society organisations.

We brought up the topic of the increase in the budget on participatory democracy, but I think this conversation will be picked up after the 9th of May. They suggested to ask President Sassoli to share a message in support of the EU Sign Day given the positive reply he sent us.
Attachments
20210429_Project Presentation partners.pdf
European Parliament Civil Society Outreach
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Reply Committee of the Regions

Post by VirginiaFiume »

Dear Ms Fiume,



Thank you for sharing with us your proposals and for your important work on supporting and promoting the European Citizens' Initiatives.



European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) facilitates and underpins CoR's political priority of bringing Europe closer to its people and the CoR as representative of the level of government which is the closest to citizens is a key partner to promote them. Here is a brief overview of some of our activities to support the ECIs in the recent past:



On 15 October 2020, the European Parliament held a public hearing on the fifth successful European Citizens’ Initiative Minority Safepack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe. Support for this initiative was expressed at this hearing by our CoR member & rapporteur, Yoomi Renström (SE/PES).



On 16 November 2020, Declan McDonnell (IE/EA), CoR rapporteur for local and regional authorities (LRAs) in the permanent dialogue with citizens, spoke in the opening session of the European Citizens' Initiative Week, organised by the European Commission, about the importance of politically and territorially relevant ECIs for the regions and cities and about the Citizen ENgagement Network proposed in his opinion possibly serving as a springboard for such initiatives.



On 4 February 2021, during the 142nd plenary session of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Local and Regional Leaders held a debate on ECIs and invited for the first time representatives from two European Citizens Initiatives, in the presence of Pedro Silva Pereira, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Christa Schweng, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). With this initiative the CoR kicked off its debate over democracy towards the Conference on the future of Europe and showed its commitment to support ECIs. You can watch the debate here: EC AV PORTAL (europa.eu)



On 15 April 2021, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament, in association with the Committee on Petitions, jointly organised a public hearing on the European Citizens’ Initiative “End the Cage Age’’. The initiative was registered on 5 September 2018 and its result was submitted to the European Commission, after having gathered the support of almost 1.4 million signatories with the minimum threshold reached in 18 Member States. The initiative calls on the European Commission to end keeping farmed animals in cages and to propose legislation to prohibit its use. The programme of the hearing included a statement by a representative of the CoR, Guillaume CROS (FR/The Greens), who reiterated the CoR position against the practice of rearing birds and animals in cages, according to the CoR opinion 'Reform of the CAP' adopted in 2018.



We are also working closely with the EESC on the upcoming ECI Day in June.



Rest assured we have reviewed your proposals for ECI information measures and the ECI Sign day with great interest and will take these into consideration in implementing our support measures for ECIs.



Please keep us informed of the activities of EUMANS and do not hesitate to contact us, should you have any questions.



Kind regards



Julia Shah Fiorovanti
Coordinator of EUMANS
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VirginiaFiume
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How to join the mobilization on the 9th of May

Post by VirginiaFiume »

9th May 5.30 PM CEST - Our Voices for the Future of Europe (organised by Citizens Take Over Europe. 


During this event myself, Helwig (Unconditional Basic Income ECI) and Yasmina/Tony (Voters Without Borders) will present the YouGov Survey and the EU SIGN DAY Initiative. All of the ECIs promoters are welcome to join the plenary discussion.

9th May 11.00 AM - 12.30 PM FLASHMOB YOUGOV DATA

In Italy, we will have activists hitting the streets with the EU SIGN DAY flyers and displaying in plain sight the Italian survey result (you can use a sign around, write it on your forehead with a marker, or free your creativity *) 

We will do live streaming to connect the different cities where actions are happening using Streamyard. 
You can report your participation here with a comment and you can join the live using this link https://streamyard.com/rz3fw83j5g
1) Telling why you celebrate Europe Day with EU SIGN DAY
2) If you want to interact with people on the street during your live moment (for example by asking "Do you know what a European Citizens' Initiative is?" 

Please let me know if as partners and promoters of EU SIGN DAY you want to join an existing action in Italy, organise this small action also in your cities in Europe (so I can plan the livestreaming) - or if you are in Brussels and you want to join me :) (and of course. -we can crosspost the event on your facebook pages so that everyone can reach new audiences)


Additional events and information
- 6th of May - 5.30 PM - https://www.facebook.com/events/273112104521875 + registration Register at: https://forms.gle/fTSmvueFWhaaz8xW6 (event with Stamm Europa, Stand Up for Europe, Pulse of Europe and the Citizens Take Over Europe Coalition - already shared the participation details with all the ECIs promoters who will attend) 

- Hashtag to use #TheFutureIsyours #EuSigndDay #SignNow #9May / sharing the website https://eusignday.eu / visual assets 
- template for outreach to other organisasations to ask for promoting the EU SIGN DAY Initiative 
- The Unconditional Basic Income ECI team in Finland is finalising the promotional video

This is a list of cities we will cover on the 9th of May 

Brussels - Lecce (Live - Roberto / Virginia)
+ Marco Cappato
Milan (Michele Giannella (Unconditional Basic Income + Cristiana & Co)
Rome (Lorenzo Mineo / Miriam Turrini / Angela + Voters Without Borders)
Rome - connection with Federalist Demonstration (Check with Antonio Argenziano)
Florence (Andrea Salimbeni)
Turin (Marco Ciurcina - Freedom to Share) [Verify]
Palermo (Francesca Turano Campello)
Naples [Check]
Birmingham (Carlo Curti) [Verify]
London (Manlio Found Voters without Borders + 3Million)
Coordinator of EUMANS