Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, June 25, 2018 05:32:42 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

How to turn citizens' consultations into a success

By
08th-Mar-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Thierry Libaert :
Europe has long been the ideal scapegoat. To be fair, this criticism had - and to some extent still has - considerable justification. From the controversies surrounding the former president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, to errors in dealing with matters of public health such as glyphosate, the European Union has often presented a pitiable image to the world. Its poor reputation has been reinforced by the natural tendency of national governments to take credit for successes while 'Brussels' is given the blame for difficulties.
Although Europe manages a budget of €160 billion, it remains the only large international institution to possess no system for managing communication, worth talking about. Each separate European institution has its own communication strategy, essentially aimed at presenting their activities in the best light. Nevertheless, even in the absence of deliberate action, views about Europe are evolving.
Recently the confidence of citizens in Europe has jumped by eleven points, whereas those who declare a lack of confidence have diminished by eight points (Eurobarometer figures, 2017). 47% of Europeans have confidence in the European Union as against 46% who do not have confidence.
The margin is tiny but the reversal of direction is highly significant. Contrary to what is popularly believed, we have more confidence in Europe than we do in our national governments.
In many countries, the growth of populist parties seems to have reached its limit. The demonstrable skill of these movements in terms of channelling popular discontent is starting to be significantly counterbalanced by their inefficiency in managing public affairs, whenever that opportunity has been presented to them.
Brexit provided an electric shock of lasting impact. It has allowed remembrance of Europe's numerous benefits (freedom of movement, social rights, the euro, Erasmus etc) and, more generally, awareness of the dangers of a drift towards isolationism.
The continued existence of a threat on the eastern borders of Europe, vague but real, is now linked to a perception of immense chaos in the United States. For the first time since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, Europeans are discovering that in the future they may be able to count only on themselves. It is within this new context that the project for public consultations has been launched by France. These consultations will take place from March to October in 26 out of 27 member states.  The idea of putting citizens at the heart of this movement for relaunching Europe is only to be encouraged. A strong Europe should be a Europe of peoples rather than of governments. Over time multiple debates will be launched offering room for expression and exchanges of opinion around the European idea.
Establishing civil society as the bedrock of the new European dynamic is hard to disagree with as a concept, but for it to be truly effective, four conditions should be met.
Firstly, it must be clear that the purpose of these consultations is to provide the fresh momentum of benefit to Europeans themselves. Member states remain watchful in matters of their own sovereignty. The least perception that consultations are essentially a French initiative for partisan ends, aimed principally at the next European elections, would undermine confidence in the whole initiative. Secondly, these consultations, must as far as possible, be comprised of real dialogue taking place in real spaces. Establishing digital platforms would allow expression of views, but it would not encourage dialogue. In order to debate European ideas, real dialogue is needed. If that opens up the risk of confrontation, it is nevertheless the only route towards a true consensus regarding the main aspects of public policy. These consultations must also represent as far as possible a full range of opinion, and must particularly represent different categories within the population. Awareness of Europe should not be limited to an enlightened elite but must be widely shared.
(Thierry Libaert is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee and the point of contact for the French delegation. A university professor, he is also vice-president of the think tank, 'La Fabrique Ecologique')

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Sports »

Members of England's rugby league team celebrate a win over New Zealand by raising the Rugby League Football International Challenge Cup on Saturday in Denver. England won 36-18.


International »

First Russia air strikes hit southern Syria as govt assault looms


AFP, Beirut : Russia bombed rebel-held parts of southern Syria late Saturday for the first time since brokering a ceasefire there nearly a year ago, a monitor group said, as allied regime troops prepare a ground assault.Southern Syria is a strategic prize for local and global players involved in the country's ...

International »

Zimbabwe's President narrowly escapes assassination bid


The Washington Post :Zimbabwe's election campaign season took a worrying turn Saturday afternoon when a crude bombing at a speech delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa appeared to be an attempt on his life.Mnangagwa had just finished giving a speech in a stadium in Zimbabwe's second-largest city, Bulawayo, when the blast ...

City »

Newly -appointed Nepalese Ambassador Dr Chop Lal Bhusal called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office yesterday.


Editorial »

Fatal accidents are increasing, make roads and highways safe for passengers


TERMING it as the deadliest day, the news media reported that at least 55 people were killed in separate road accidents in different districts across the country on Saturday. Bangladesh Jatri Kallyan Samity said it was the highest number of casualties in a single day in recent times. An 11-member ...

Entertainment »

Richi returns to country tomorrow


Entertainment Report :In last January, popular TV actress Richi Solaiman came to Bangladesh to pass times with her mother and brother by own way. After five months, she is returning to her motherland tomorrow. This time she is coming for several reasons including to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with her mother, to ...

Editorial »

American people rose against inhumanity of Trump`s immigration policy : Trump remains un-American


US President Donald Trump took an U-turn and changed his own policy amid strong protest by American people.  There are huge criticism and outcry in America over the way undocumented parents and children have been kept forcibly apart. He said he changed his mind by seeing images of children who ...

International »

UN Chief appeals for end to fighting in south Syria


AFP, United Nations :UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for an immediate end to a military escalation in southwest Syria and a return to ceasefire arrangements agreed by Russia, the United States and Jordan.US Ambassador Nikki Haley separately urged Russia to pressure its Syrian ally to uphold the truce. ...

Football »

Nigeria`s John Obi Mikel (left) and Iceland`s Gylfi Sigurdsson compete for the ball during the group D match between Nigeria and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia on Friday.


Football »

Portugal's Ruben Dias talks to journalists during a news conference prior the training session of Portugal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kratovo, outskirts Moscow, Russia on Saturday.


City »

Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina inaugurating the newly constructed building of the party's central office by releasing balloons in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue on Saturday.


Entertainment »

Sunny Leone hospitalised


Bollywood star and reality show host Sunny Leone was hospitalised on Thursday. Leone was taken to Brijesh Hospital Kashipur in the Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand on Thursday after she complained of stomach ache. However, her state was declared satisfactory on Friday morning.The doctor attending her has given the ...

Editorial »

Trump disregards the American core human right values : He is against America`s greatness


The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, condemning the "hypocrisy" of its members and its alleged "unrelenting bias" against Israel vividly face-off US stance in favour of rights violation. National and international news outlets reported that the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, ...

Entertainment »

Kriti Sanon shares glimpses from her IIFA performance


Actress Kriti Sanon took to social media to share glimpses from her upcoming electrifying performance at the IIFA awards. Kriti Sanon who landed in Bangkok on Thursday morning for IIFA wasted no time as she took to rehearsals for her much-awaited performance. Sharing insights into her performances, Kriti Sanon posted ...

Entertainment »

A fan paints a wall with Nidhhi Agerwal’s graffiti art


An ardent fan of Nidhhi Agerwal took to Twitter to share a Graffiti art of the actress painted on a wall. The fan artist painted a wall with the actress’ image giving showcasing his love for Nidhhi. The artist spent a huge amount of time getting every detail right to ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news