#TheFutureIsYours Strengthening European democracy
Which Europe do we want? Reforming European democracy to meet tomorrow’s challenges
Event report available
The Conference on the Future of Europe was promoted by the Democratic Party of the Province of Pavia in collaboration with the European Federalist Movement. The privileged recipients of the event are the local circles and young democrats in order to involve them in a historical public debate. Indeed, the Conference on the Future of Europe is a great opportunity to respond to the need to know the past and relevance of the process of European unification and the need for a broader and reformed European democracy, for a Europe that is ever closer to its citizens. Action will be taken: — Chiara Scuvera, Provincial Secretary PD Pavia; — Olivier Lontouo, Head of Europe PD of the Province of Pavia; — Anna Costa, Lombardy Regional Secretary of the MFE; — Piero Angelo Lazzari, Secretary of the MFE section of Pavia, — Ilaria Caria, MFE Communication Team. The event is organised online, through the Zoom platform and broadcast on the PD page Province of Pavia live on Facebook. This will be followed by a wide-ranging debate by those present.
Event reportCONTEXT, PURPOSE, EVENT METHODOLOGY. The secretary of the Province of Pavia, C. Scuvera, opened the work by recalling the importance of the contribution of the intermediate bodies, in particular of the parties in this process of renewal of the EU. The secretary argues that democratic political forces must be protagonists in the confrontation that opens with the Conference on the Future of Europe with a dual purpose: — address the most up-to-date issues of the latest decisions in the European field of renewed solidarity, following the severe pandemic crisis that has hit Europe heavily; — make some fundamental European choices lasting, such as the one linked to the creation of an autonomous European budget, the basis for any truly unitary European policy. Scuvera explains that the provincial federation of the Democratic Party of Pavia, in line with the decision of the national leadership of the PD to engage in the activities of the Conference, wanted to discuss the aims, actors and working methods of the Conference, with a preliminary meeting with the secretaries of the circle, deciding to carry out today’s initiative. This webinar is one of the various debate meetings on European issues that has seen and will involve secretaries of circles, members and sympathisers. In particular, with this event it was chosen to start from the theme of DEMOCRAZY, an essential basis of the other strands, in order to help define a Europe better suited to managing the challenges already present and the future with a more politically united European Union, closer to the citizens, more solidarity and more inclusive, with fewer inequalities and a fairer market. O. Lontouo, Head of Europe PD, presented an overview of the main steps in the process of European unification to date. Anna Costa, regional secretary MFE Lombardia, recalled the fundamental role played by the MFE in almost eighty years of commitment to the construction of a Federal Europe and stressed the historicity and unrepeatability of the moment represented by the Conference on the Future of Europe and how the most diverse organisations (trade unions, professional associations, political parties, local administrations, various associations of civil society) should animate the debate with their proposals and involve the greatest number of citizens, so that this moment does not reduce to a discussion among professionals. FR. A. Lazzari, Secretary MFE Pavia, spoke about how PD and MFE, at least at the territorial level, have started a fruitful collaboration of which this and previous meetings are an excellent example. The hope is that these collaborations can be replicated and involve other subjects, as is also happening in the rest of Italy and Europe, as it is the intention of the European Federalist Movement that would like to promote the Conference and the reforms of which it has always promoted. Ilaria Caria, MFE Communication Team, briefly outlines the centrality of the digital platform within the Conference and its main features. He recalled that the current event would also be uploaded and publicised through this tool, so that the demands arising during the debate could reach European policy makers. N° AND PARTICIPANT TYPE The participants were in total about 60, of which 30 were connected via Zoom and 30 followed the live on Facebook. Among these is recorded in the zoom link the presence of 8 women and 5 young people under 35. Among those present were members and managers of the PD including: the Provincial Secretary and several Secretaries of Circle PD Province of Pavia, the Europe Managers of the PD and GD of the Province of Pavia, the Head of Scientific Committee training path PD Province of Pavia “democratically”, the Head of Department of Economics and Labour PD Province of Pavia. Managers and members of the European Federalist Movement were also present. Main ARGOMENTS TO DISCUSSION The discussion has ranged between several topics of which the main ones are reported. Kyriam Gardin, Head of Europe Young Democrats Province Pavia, spoke about the meaning of democracy in the digital world, where sometimes even voting choices can be strongly influenced by fakenews, driven by external forces hostile to the Union, so European regulation and control is needed. Another topic that was much heard by the participants was the defence of fundamental rights, freedom and social justice, and the welfare state that today characterises the Europe model. Anna Costa has evidenced how the multi-membership of the European and Italian citizenship must solicit a rereading of the national problems in an increasingly European key and therefore to bring to a massive and widespread knowledge of the European Union which context of reference essential for citizens, together with the Local Authorities, the Region and the State. Piero Angelo Lazzari supports the need to network on the territory in order to connect the forces that are committed to the Conference in a constructive debate such as today’s appointment. With this end in October in Pavia will be held a large city assembly organised by the MFE, to which the PD will also be invited. Anna Costa and Olivier Lontouo call for greater unity at European level and not just in some areas, because diversity between the peoples of Europe is a source of wealth. They also reiterate the importance of creating cross-cutting synergies from the base to reach the Union summit in order to find the necessary strength to make those reforms that will project us in the future while maintaining our democracy, our values and our welfare state. The European model in this sense is unique in the world and is a reference for many peoples. Oivier Lontouo recalls the major issues that Europe must respond promptly to, such as those of climate change, migration, pandemics, financial and economic crises, competition and cooperation with other superpowers, terrorism, scientific and technological research. National states alone cannot govern these huge issues, while a politically more united Europe could handle complex processes. Piero Angelo Lazzari argues that in order to do this it is necessary to create a new European architecture in order to respond precisely to the need for efficiency and to this demand for reforms in order to achieve a stronger Europe. In order to do this, it is first and foremost important that you mature a certain level of awareness and expectations in civil society. The main question on which the participants were questioned was the following: Why is a stronger European Union so necessary? Each one gave his perspective, but in every contribution there were common elements. According to the participants, we live in a complex and highly connected world, and we must all contribute to building a more united Europe capable of giving European citizens certain answers in challenging areas that the national states alone cannot cope with. Anna Costa reiterates that it is therefore necessary to amend the Treaties in order to create a new European sovereignty in some areas. In order to implement these policies, we must have a budget independent of the contribution of the States alone. There can be no real European democracy without an autonomous fiscal power. Chiara Scuvera recalls that it is important for this choice to be understood by the citizens, because it is not a question of exacerbating the tax burden with new European taxes, but of draining European savings through the issuance of bonds, as happened for the Next Generation EU. During the event, several participants stressed the need for the Conference to be truly effective, especially in the face of anti-European behaviour. In response, A. Costa and P.A. Lazzari reiterated that the significance of the Conference on the Future of Europe is not to enshrine a status quo, which is clearly deficit, but to require changes that are not yet foreseen, to the limit with Member States wishing to proceed to a closer Union. This had already happened in the past with the introduction of the Euro, so one must remain confident about the importance of this instrument of political participation. In other words, the use of the democratic debate desired by the Conference cannot disregard the desire for change that national and European parliamentarians, political and trade union forces, local administrators, representatives of associations and above all citizens will want to express. We must regain European sovereignty in those areas where real national sovereignty is lacking or no longer exists. The participants focused, in particular, on the reforms needed to strengthen European sovereignty. Reform tax rules by standardising them at European level in order to avoid distortions in the interests of certain countries benefiting from investment through a favourable tax policy. A common taxation system to prevent multinationals from doing tax optimisation, damaging some Member States. Stop tax dumping that benefits some Member States and sanction those like Hungary and Poland that currently do not have democratic regimes. Abolishing the Stability Pact, which is not sustainable by any country after the pandemic and which would continue to create dissatisfaction with Europe in the European population. Increase opportunities for people to move around Europe in order to foster mutual knowledge and a European culture, as is done with the Erasmus mobility project. In the field of technology, Europe has to catch up with the United States and China, which requires federal policies on a continental scale (Franco Spoltore, National Directorate MFE). A genuine European foreign policy is needed, including to deal with humanitarian crises (Karim Gardin). Commit to addressing European issues in a permanent debate, as our political context of reference increasingly important and closer to the solution of our needs and not to limit ourselves to what is taking place, often only nationally, during the elections to the European Parliament every five years (Anna Costa). Proceed to the direct election of the President of the European Commission to further involve the European electorate (Kyriam Gardin). Abolish the right of veto (Gianmario Mocera). There is no proper and good information about the conference, which is almost ignored by TV and newspapers (Dario Orbelli, Pieve del Cairo) and on which we should instead insist as organisations to fill this shameful deficit. In order to build a true European democracy, we need to get out of the intergovernmental logic that paralyses decision-making processes with the right of veto and to give the European Parliament real legislative powers, in particular in taxation and foreign policy (Anna Costa).
10:00 - 12:00
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