In such a region as Europe, whose integration moved forward considerably in the past sixty years, it is a delicate matter to promote a citizens’ assembly ignoring the existence of the parliament, the commission, the inter-governmental conference. One figure is enough : 15.000 lobbyists are active in Brussels. This is enough to measure the importance of the decisions that are made there. That is why the implication of the civic and citizens’ movements in regional integration necessarily leads towards a dialog with European institutions and, especially, with the parliament.
The movements of citizens also face two important questions :
- Should the integrated Europe be confederate (Inter-governmental) or federal, i.e. with a truly European government?
- Should integration prioritize institutional ways (provide itself of a constitution and re-enforce the existing organs) or should it get formed by successive projects?
Truth forces us to say that most of the social and political actors carefully avoid the first question. In the case of the second question, after the difficulties which arose from the forming projects, the actors prioritize the project approach : green Europe, economic impulse, university and research Europe.
The election of a new parliament in 2009 (deeply renewed, since 65 % of the parliamentarians are new) and the consolidation of its function provided an opportunity for European civic networks to express what they hope for Europe. In cooperation with the FGF (a Belgium foundation), the IHECS (The Belgium School of Journalists) and Euractiv (European media and blog networks), the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation launched the project «Challenge for Europe», which consists of collecting proposals to improve European politics in such fields as education, information, agriculture and foreign relations, and to promote them in http://challengeforeurope.blogactiv.eu. Very many high quality proposals can be found here.
These proposals lack of being led, though. However, movements are not precisely lacking in Europe. On the contrary, these push each other to exist or assume leadership, calling attention due to their dispersion. And, of course, everyone has their own ideas and proposals. Thus, next year will be marked by :
- the worry to pull the various movements together,
- the contact with the new parliamentarians.
In both cases, the Challenge for Europe proposals become a good entrance door to this issue.