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Att göra valet till Europaparlamentet mer demokratiskt och öka deltagandet: Marken är beredd, säger två kommissionsrapporter

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rekommendationer_ep_valTwo months ahead of the European Parliament elections, two new reports published by the Commission provide an overview of the decisive steps taken to make these elections even more democratic and to bring European politics closer to citizens. One report analyses how the Commission’s recommendations for increasing the transparency and democratic legitimacy of the European elections, made last year (IP / 13 / 215), har tagits upp av medlemsländer och politiska partier. En avgörande rekommendation var särskilt att be de europeiska politiska partierna att nominera ledande kandidater till kommissionens ordförande.

A second report looks at the new communication tool of Citizens’ Dialogues developed by the Commission over the last 18 months as an instrument to inform people, restore trust in European and national institutions and make citizens aware that their voice does count in the EU. The publication of these two reports coincides with a Pan-European Citizens’ Dialogue taking place in Brussels today (27 March) with more than 150 citizens coming from all over Europe (IP / 14 / 295).

“European elections need to be truly European. Citizens need to know how their choice fits into the bigger European picture. For the first time in the history of European integration, a debate has started around clearly designated candidates for the presidency of the Commission. This is the birth of a truly European democracy,” said Vice President Viviane Reding, commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship. “But democracy isn’t just about Election Day. It’s about debating Europe’s future with people at local level, all year round. We held over 50 Citizens’ Dialogues in every member state and found that citizens have a real thirst for discussing European issues face-to-face with politicians. In Europe we need to speak to each other, rather than about each other.”

Förbereda marken för EU-valet

Mer än 50-dialoger har hållits i alla medlemsländer, där 22 europeiska kommissionärer deltar, vanligtvis tillsammans med parlamentsledamöter och nationella, regionala eller lokala politiker.

More than 16,000 citizens took part in the Citizens’ Dialogues, with over 105,000 people participating via live web stream and social media. The Dialogues were open door events so that everyone interested could join the debate. Today the final all-day, paneuropeisk medborgardialog, hålls i Bryssel med president José Manuel Barroso och tio EU-kommissionärer som sammanför deltagare i tidigare dialoger från hela Europa (se dialogen online här.).

A report on the Citizens’ Dialogues published today shows that these Dialogues have gone a long way in giving EU policy a human face. The format has started to take root in member states, with national politicians in countries such as Germany, Bulgaria and Ireland launching Dialogues of their own.

Annons

These open debates with European, national and local politicians have proven to be a unique way of engaging directly with citizens, and are part of the European Commission’s preparation for the European elections in May. They have kicked off a debate in which citizens could directly address their questions on the future of the Union and EU policies to European and national politicians. This helped turning the Dialogues into truly European events, contributing to the development of a European Public Space.

The need for such dialogues is confirmed by citizens: Today, two out of three Europeans feel that their voice is not being heard (see Annex 4) and nearly 9 in 10 participants (88%) during the Citizens’ Dialogues expressed their strong wish to have more such Dialogues (see Annex 5).

To complement these efforts, a handbook on EU citizens’ main rights Visste du: 10 EU-rättigheter i en överblick publiceras den här veckan, som tillkännagavs i 2013 EU: s medborgarskapsrapport. The handbook includes information on the right to take part in the EU’s decision-making process, including the European elections.

Gör det annorlunda den här gången

On 12 March 2013, the Commission adopted a Recommendation calling on European political parties to nominate their candidates for President of the Commission and recommending they display their European political party affiliation. A year on, six European political parties have made their candidates known and are planning to raise awareness about their candidates’ programmes. Politicising the elections with top candidates has received widespread support amongst citizens too – the latest Europas framtida Eurobarometerundersökning publicerad denna vecka visar att sju av tio européer till och med skulle gå längre och säga att kommissionens ordförande bör väljas direkt av EU-medborgare (se bilaga 3).

Tack vare kommissionens åtgärder har medlemsstaterna också införlivat EU: s regler snabbt (Direktiv 2013 / 1 / EU) som kommer att underlätta för kandidater att stå i sina bostadsmedlemmar (IP / 14 / 87). Alla medlemsländer antog införlivande lagarna och alla utom en (se Tjeckien MEMO / 14 / 241) har redan anmält sådana lagar till kommissionen.

Några utmaningar kvarstår: The Commission’s calls for a single voting day across Europe and for political parties to display their European political party affiliations on the ballots are not yet widely taken up. In the latter case, this is due to the fact that electoral legislation in several member states does not allow ballot papers to display names of logos of European political parties.

Kommissionen kommer att lägga fram en fullständig rapport inklusive genomförandet av sina rekommendationer efter valet till Europaparlamentet.

Mer information

Rapport om rekommendationen till Europaparlamentet
Rapportera om medborgarnas dialoger
More on the Citizens’ Dialogues and the Debate on the future of Europe
Europas framtid Eurobarometer
Vice President Viviane Redings webbplats
Följ Vice ordförande Viviane Reding på Twitter: VivianeRedingEU

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