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New forms of European citizens' participation launched in Rome

12-03-2024 15:01

Europolitiche

Europolitiche, roma capitale, Paolo acunzo,

New forms of European citizens' participation launched in Rome

by Paolo Acunzo. The meeting was promoted by the “Altiero Spinelli” section of Rome of the European Federalist Movement in synergy with Roma Capitale.

On1 March, Europolitiche was invited, along with thirty other participants, to the second Roman Assembly of European Citizens.

Representing us, for the welcome occasion, was the member of our board Angelo Ariemma. We publish below a note that Paolo Acunzo, national federalist leader, kindly wanted to send to Angelo and us to illustrate, on our portal, the meaning, development and purpose of the important Capitoline assembly promoted by the "Altiero Spinelli" section of Rome of the European Federalist Movement in synergy with Roma Capitale.


On March 1st, the II Roman Assembly of European Citizens was held in the council chamber of the Metropolitan City of Palazzo Valentini in the presence of Mayor Roberto Gualtieri.
Promoted by the Rome "Altiero Spinelli" section of the European Federalist Movement in synergy with Roma Capitale, this assembly is only the latest result of a long process of almost three years that has seen about thirty associations sign the Manifesto For Rome European Capital.
On the basis of the proposals in this manifesto, the city council by a large majority approved a resolution that allowed the city of Rome to convene the first European Citizens' Assembly and to present a structured contribution to the work of the Conference on the Future of Europe at that time in Brussels. Even today, more than a year later, this is the only example of a structured civil society debate on the future of Europe directly promoted by a major European capital.
One of the objectives of this Manifesto was to find forms of popular participation at the city level to contribute to the European debate. In addition, it was proposed that civil society and citizens should be consulted on European issues on a permanent basis. The achievement of this second objective was formalised during the last shareholders' meeting on 1 March 2024.
The assembly opened with an introduction by Mayor Roberto Gualtieri, who focused on the importance of the upcoming vote in the European elections and its possible political effects. Subsequently, Councillor Antonella Melito announced the launch of the administrative process to establish the European Capitoline Council in the Capitol in order
to formalize the continuous dialogue on Europe underway in Rome between civil society and the municipal administration. Alongside the consulta, the Casa d'Europa in Rome will be opened at a later date, a physical meeting place, alongside the meeting place offered by the consulta, for all those associations and movements in the capital that want to carry out their activities in a European dimension. Finally, Mayor Gualtieri himself proposed that the work of the European Council and the future activities of the House of Europe should have a moment of synthesis open to all citizens, through the custom of convening every year on March 25 the Roman assembly of European citizens, symbolically on the occasion of the anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome that established the European Community.
The more than twenty representatives of associations, movements, student unions and others who took part in the assembly all expressed themselves in favor of this path that would make the city of Rome at the forefront in offering tools for bottom-up participation in the process of European integration. At the same time, they did not hide their fears about the timing in which the European consultation could be formally approved, given that it will have to undergo a complex administrative procedure that provides for consultation in all 15 Capitoline municipalities.
During the debate, a number of issues related to the upcoming European elections were also raised and proposals for actions were put forward that could be encourage popular participation in the vote, such as the request to send a letter from the Municipality reminding all Roman citizens of the vote (or at least to those who will vote for the first time and/or to those non-Italian European citizens residing in the capital to inform them of their right to vote). Proposals that provide a plastic example of the type of deliberation that the European Council could spur in synergy with the bodies of Rome capital.
More generally, each speaker shared with the assembly their associative objectives and the activities underway to achieve them, outlining their specific commitment on individual European issues of interest to them. They all underlined the importance of finding common moments of confrontation in view of the upcoming European elections, but hypothesizing a program of meetings that goes far beyond the mere electoral moment. In addition, the speakers agreed on the urgent need to reform the Treaties of the European Union, which are no longer considered capable of providing effective decision-making mechanisms in the face of new global challenges, even if there were different ideas on how this process of European reform should be stimulated and what political mechanisms should follow. It is clear, however, that without popular forms of involvement, the hoped-for reform process would not even be able to get off the ground.
In the conclusions entrusted to Paolo Acunzo of the European Federalist Movement in Rome, the sensitivity that the current leaders of the Capitoline administration have shown on European issues was acknowledged, a premise and guarantee that the path traced for the active participation of citizens will be completed as soon as possible. In this sense, he confirmed the willingness of the Roman federalists to continue to play the role of connection between the Capitol and civil society carried out in recent years on the issues of the construction of Europe from below. Finally, he urged to extend the sharing of the Manifesto to new associations, large or small, that want to make their contribution and carry out their activities in a European dimension, in order to follow up on the common commitments promoted by the Manifesto for Rome European Capital.


Paolo Acunzo
pacunzo@hotmail.com

Cross-media in Italian on the policies of European institutions and governments of European Union countries

Cross-media in Italian on the policies of European institutions and governments of European Union countries


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