60 years after the Treaty of Rome, the European Union is facing very different reality since its beginnings in 1957. Over that period we have seen economical partnership of 6 strong members to grow into Union of 28 members who share the same values and vision for peaceful, fair and prosperous continent. However the last development including financial and migration crisis framed within the post-truth rhetoric from newly emerged political forces, created more gaps and divides rather than foreseen integration. The upcoming year will be crucial for making European project attractive to its citizens again and the civil society organizations are ready to continue the dialogue with policymakers and strengthening of public trust into democratic institutions.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) that include for instance non-governmental organisations (NGOs), professional associations, social partners, universities or media representatives, play a crucial role in promoting active citizenship in Europe among all communities and generations.
To strengthen the role of the civil society we will fight for:
● A robust, independent and diversified organized civil society that is underpinned by adequate public financing.
● The European institutions should promote a positive image of CSOs and preserve their independence, particularly by strengthening their capacity for action and engagement in social innovation and civic participation.
● The EU should maintain and further reinforce its leadership as donor of humanitarian assistance and international cooperation and proactively promote a fully-fledged civil society based on the article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty.
● The Sustainable Development Goals and gender equality priorities should be mainstreamed in the future MFF.
I believe that many people lack a real political education. From what I see around, it seems that people (and politicians, and media, everybody) are taking for granted that people just “know” how to make a good choice – that it’s somehow natural, and doesn’t require any form of training or education. I beg to differ. I have witnessed, and perhaps others had as well, people who relate to the democratic vote (over members of parliament, country President, etc) like this: * Voting the guy who looks better in his suit. * Voting a man or a woman for the sole reason that he or she is beautiful. * Voting a person for the sole reason that he’s wearing national traditional garments for the public, is video recorded kissing religious relics and entering a monastery, and affirms strongly that he believes in the right God / religion. * Driven by a strong tribal loyalty, there are people who vote the same party over and over again, no matter what the Party does or if it’s doing anything at all. It’s simply a pride, just like the nationalist pride, of having supported that Party for their entire life and will do the same unto the end. And you can even put Adolf Hitler there, to be the leader of that Party, they would still vote for it, just because it’s the same political party. * Many people are not sending much time mulling over ideas, sending time and effort into thinking, and being interested in debates, rational arguments, and communication with people of different beliefs. Rather, they are waiting for their preferred media (or, social media) and the politicians they favor, to tell them how things are, how to understand them, what to believe, and how to feel about it – and then go ahead and rant and insult everybody who disagree with them for being idiots and evil. In other words, many people do not have well defined beliefs of their own – so they are willing to believe anything that a politician or the media is saying. * There may be thousands of experts crying out loudly that a certain judicial measure, if implemented, would be destructive, or that a certain economical measure would be destructive – but there are too many people who don’t / can’t understand such things, it’s simply beyond their intellectual capacity, and so they choose to follow their gut = believing whatever they want to believe = believing whomever promises the nicest fantasy. * People tend to trust the politicians who have personality attributes that resemble their own, politicians who are more like themselves (not as regard to wealth; instead, behavior, attitudes, way of talking, etc.) So disrespectful people seem to trust more the politicians who are disrespectful towards others such as their political opponents, sexists trust sexist politicians, homophobes trust politicians who openly show homophobia. * There are many people, even intelligent ones, who are willing to spend weeks or months in deciding over a new washing machine, but are spending only 2 to 3 minutes in reading news and deciding over which politician / political party to vote for. I mean, really, for a day-by-day minor detail they spend dozens of hours, but for a most crucial issue that will affect their future and the future of their children and of everybody else, they are relying on the first impression they are getting when they watch the guy at the news for just two minutes, in the one day of the election. * There are also poor and uneducated people who are more than willing to vote for whichever political party is giving them a pack of flour or a bottle of oil in the period of the campaign, right before the election. They simply cannot see farther, that democracy and politics is more than that, that the politicians are supposed to ensure their future and provide for them a better life, that that vote will affect everybody in the country and it can’t just be sold for an instant gratification of “here and now” So I believe that EU should invest some time & effort in finding a way to provide political education for its citizens, at least education in public schools, and for all member states: From what democracy is, to why it’s important to go to vote even if all the political candidates are all utterly pathetic, and to inspire them with some basic guidelines on what they should be attentive about, when deciding over a political candidate (e.g. “If he’s not beautiful, that doesn’t matter. Potential qualities might include: If he’s not charged for having committed bribery, murder, rape, etc.” – they might sound as for retards, but there actually are people who lack even theses basics), to tell them that it’s important to have some guidelines that they can articulate and debate over, and not simply go over gut feeling. If I have learned anything painful in my life about human beings, then two of them are: 1. People are capable of believing anything. 2. Many people either don’t have any criteria, or they are having outrageously stupid criteria (which also change swiftly just as the wind blows) over what they should seek in political candidates / parties, when they go to vote. Just the same as they are incapable of separating good-willing politicians from blatant charlatans. So yes, I truly believe that people should all receive some basic political education, from having democracy explained, to having some good criteria for providing an educated guess over who would be best to have the power for the next 4+ years. Something to give the people the confidence that they vote on beliefs, reasons, arguments, criteria, not just over blind trust or tribal loyalty towards a party or a new-found messiah. And it should come from some trusted organization / institution, something that can’t be suspected or accused of trying to indoctrinate people in supporting a political party or in embracing a certain party’s ideology.
I have lived for 18 years in Romania, and 9 years in Denmark, and i had the chance to sample how the civil society worked in both member states of the European Union. First, i will start with the experience in Denmark (which i confirmed to be similar in other North European member states). Here the civil society is quintessential to the success of Denmark, and almost every citizen participates in it, in one form or another. There are different forms of participation, some people are members of different clubs (sports or not) and associations where they enjoy a certain service, while others are volunteers in the same clubs and associations and use their free time to provide service to other citizens. As i am in the leadership of a youth organization, we have experienced that the world is the limit, in terms of support and funding. You can receive funding from your local municipality, from your region, from the government and from the parliament. Easy access to funding, allows youth organizations to grow and attract citizens to join and volunteer. However, not the same can be said about the situation in Romania. I am also in the leadership of a youth organization in there, and it is very difficult to access funding, especially when none is offered from local, regional and national level. Therefore, i suggest a European directive to be implemented in which each member state implements legislation on the development of civil society, and ensures the presence of local, regional and national funds for it. Reliance on European funds cannot always be the case as high-level of expertise is necessary to access such funds. A part of the tax money that people pay needs to return back in form of support for the civil society, everywhere on the territory of the European Union.
Dear Socialists & Democrats Group representatives, I know you have good intentions at heart and at the very core of your fundamentally socially righteous beliefs although I do not believe building a very expensive secured board paid in excruciatingly slow rates by the EU member’s countries administration committees is truly the best business endeavour for making the European Union even socio-economically great again, and amidst ever growing Euroskepticism in the world we need to show another image of Europe with actual equal opportunities and economic situation for all in the Euro zone and to solve the migration chain problems with enabling terrorists to come in our countries and attack us as we need more feasible and highly efficient migration screening system backed on both sociologists and psychologists main expertise, while succeeding to adopt and to promote a holistic approach to migration which covers all of the interlinked necessary elements of a European integration Project, from the ethical facts of solidarity and sharing responsibility fairly between countries, to the more pragmatical security needs of tackling criminal traffickers and smugglers, and also to enhance the role of Frontex and EASO (the European Asylum Support Office) and I strongly suggest that the appointed and highly certified team of the S&D group should hire an interdisciplinary group of forensic psychologists, sociologists and even immigration border specialists to work together for creating, testing, statistically & scientifically validating and implementing a highly efficient and great quite accurate screening test or inventory designed to improve the standard selection process regarding the natural flow of immigrants, especially exposing the possible sociopaths and psychopaths, or simply said the terrorists, many of them which are quite statistically representative in terms of numbers showcasing their horrors under the siege of Radical Islamism, a fanatical and distorted version of healthy fundamentalist Islamism because even in Turkey known for its monopol of muslim religion for example, these terroristic organization killed and slaughtered thousands of muslims while obliging them to recite from their holy book Quran by heart with the guns pointed to their chest and many other horrible, sadistic and quite inhumane things indeed just because there isn’t a great psychological screening system regarding the immigration process or some possibly obscure and organized group being run by some probably highly corrupted organized group of oligarchs which also ruined those top G7 countries of the world both socioculturally and economically from 2008 until now, possibly a new order quite influential hidden group who is still financing and helping them with ammunition, strategy plans and military equipment as well to create this world wide hysteria and to provoke this circus and bread type of mass media frenzy sociopolitical phenomenon, yet this is just a plausible hypothesis still unproven empirically speaking although logically sound! We need the best and most accurate highly efficient Psychological Screening System actively involved in the ongoing quite problematic migration process !!! Furthermore we also imperiously need to develop safe lawful access routes into the EU for asylum seekers and refugees, to invest more careful and strategical thinking in writing the business plans for further international funds and to spend well the bugdet ensured for migration and to bring a consistent approach to our migration, visa, international development and foreign affairs policies towards non-EU countries while making sure to bring a consistent approach to our migration, visa, international development and foreign affairs policies towards non-EU countries !!! Migrants are not a random sample from a home country’s population as many of them are representatives for the elite of that country regarding the social phenomenon of “brain drain” or the human capital flight as today we get highly educated and skilled professionals from both EU and non-EU countries as migration is truly a choice! Moreover the current policy needs to take into account both temporary and permanent migration as quotas increase a migrant cohort’s skill upon arrival and cohort’s decrease a migrant cohort’s skill measured years later and this causes temporary migration to decrease and permanent migration to increase therefore revealing the natural socio-professional mechanism to increase cohort’s skills upon arrival and also observing the constant decrease cohort’s skilled when measured years later thus needing a more effective immigration selection screening system proactively strengthened by sociocultural protection and acclimatization! Last but not least we should strive together to organize the world wide and most internationally acclaimed Progressive European Union Solidarity Award with the Progressive non-EU Organization Solidarity Award category to help many world wide civil societies play an incredibly important role regarding the EU cohesion role, to boost both EU and non-Eu governments social involvement and to quickly and effectively solve the refugee crisis on a global scale! 🙂
Me too These two words have been used million of times in October 2017. The purpose was to denounce sexual assault and harassment. The hashtag #MeToo has exploded on social media as a vehicle for women to share their stories in Europe and around the world. For perhaps the first time in history, powerful men are falling, and women are being believed. However, this also shows that there is still so much left to do in order to strengthen women’s right and how important it is to support activists who fight for civil rights. The Silver Rose Awards are organised annually in cooperation with the S&D Group, an occasion to celebrate Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and individuals on 23rd January 2018. The Jury selected six awardees in several categories to highlight their achievements in fields such as Women’s Rights. CSOs need to be two things to work sufficient: free and able to have a positive contribution. Hence, there needs to be an enabling environment for an effective role for CSOs. CSOs need to be independent and legal provision should aim at respecting and protecting the freedom of citizens and CSOs. The credibility of the message by CSOs depends on their independency why it should be highly respected. Moreover, the EU needs to develop a constructive cooperation with CSOs. Therefore, citizens and CSOs should be consulted during EU policy-making process. Consultations have been recognised as an essential element of policy-making in many developed and more recently emerging countries. The European Commission regularly seeks the views of citizens and stakeholders when it develops policy and legislation, what is important to improve the quality of public policy while strengthening its legitimacy. However, in the future MFF, gender equality should be more deeply prioritized and the EU should promote a more positive image of CSOs. The Silver Rose Awards are one great step but the way is not over yet. Not until words like “Me Too” are needed to rethink our daily lives.
On a global scale, civil society organizations play an incredibly important role. just think of the organizations that after natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes that intervene to serve those affected and help them to return to normal. These groups of people who are part of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), provide assistance to people without asking for money in return. NGOs very often depend on the donations that they receive, so many times they are limited in their intervention. In order to have a strong social impact they need to be supported by the institutions, in economic terms but also for the creation of networks that can become an added value on the different territories, increasing the social impact. The creation of European networks is the fundamental pillar for improving the involvement of associations in civil society in Europe. Moreover, the creation of these networks strongly affects social inclusion, allowing children to share common values. An important actor that would have involved in this process are the schools. if this path is started in a school through the involvement of children on some issues and therefore the consequent sensitibilisation of children, this will certainly have a positive impact on both social inclusion and humanitarian field intended as help to people in need. To do this is necessary start training in a schools through the help of volunteers already active and with the help of the institutions in economic terms, financing the training activities. Education and training are therefore a further pillar on which to invest for improve civil society, contributing to create an European Identity.
We still have a lot of bureaucracy today that does not allow us to quickly and effectively help women who are emotionally trapped with an oppressor. Sometimes women can be dragged into horrible lives without realizing what they are doing or the rights they have. I hope this award of the Soledad Cazorla Prieto Fund reminds us the work we must continue to do.
Make formal and structured the nowadays non-formal civil dialog within European institutions. Promote formal and structured civil dialog in all Member States. Besides polítical and social dialogs, civil dialog is nowadays essential in view to an accurate knowledge by decision-makers of society increasing complexity. Create an accreditation process to grant participative and consultative status to NGOs. Fund and help fund European NGOs according to transparent rules and procedures. Promote civil society parallel events to European Councils and to non-formal meetings of EU council formations…… Simple, isn’t it? Everything European institutions and MS governments already know, always knew! Formal and structured civil dialog is also essential to reduce the gap between citizens and polítical decision-makers.