Launch of Civil Society Europe in Brussels
Major European Civil Society Organisations joined in Rome on 16th December 2014 for the creation of Civil Society Europe (see .pdf). Thirty European Networks, including ALDA, are already supportive of this initiative aiming to establish a permanent coordination of the organised civil society at EU-level, a place for horizontal dialogue and a strong voice for effective advocacy in favour of policy changes that address the transversal issues of Equality, Solidarity, Inclusiveness & Democracy which should be at the heart of the European project.
Civil Society Europe’s objective is to create an enabling environment for horizontal exchanges between civil society organisations and movements across Europe. It aims to provide a common and permanent space to share experience and knowledge, scale up campaigns and other forms of collective action and strengthen the capacity of its members to connect people in the diversity of their democratic forms of expression to act for change around our shared values.
Civil Society Organisations and Movements are catalyst of citizens’ aspirations for change, first and foremost change in the content of the European policies which do not deliver along expectations and needs in terms of social justice and universal access to fundamental rights. From this perspective, Civil Society Europe aims to be influential in building a real civil dialogue at EU level, in shaping the agenda on transversal issues of common interest for civil society across Europe.
All European civil society networks supportive of this initiative may express their commitment, their expectations from this process and their willingness to engage in Civil Society Europe Steering Committee, whose responsibility will be to define Civil Society Europe work programme, strategy and internal functioning and to work towards ensuring the Civil Society Europe development and sustainability.
The first PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF CIVIL SOCIETY EUROPE MEMBERS took place on 3rd February from 9:30 to 12:00 in Brussels in the Social Platform premises, Square de Meeûs 18, Brussels. This meeting preceeded the PRESS CONFERENCE on 3rd February held from 13:30 to 14:00 in the European Parliament Press Center with the support of EP Vice-President, Sylvie Guillaume.
Civil Society Europe has now been created in the eternal city of Rome, home of the European Treaties. A small step for those involved, a huge step for organised civil society at EU-level that wants to be part of the dialogue, debate, consultation and policy making!