August 26, 2018
HANDBOOK – Version 1.1 26/8/18
This is a handbook developed initially by Giorgio Clarotti (Gio) for organising, implementing & reporting on best practices related to AllE Citizen Conventions (CiCos) in 2018.
The Objective is to organise at least 100 AllE CiCos across Europe by end 2018, harvest results and present them in a ‘European Renewal Congress’ to be possibly organised with our partner CIVICO Europa in January ‘19.
0. WHAT ARE CITIZEN CONVENTIONS? – STATE OF PLAY @25/8/18
The issue was launched principally by Pdt Macron in his Presidential campaign and launched in his September 2017 speech at the Sorbonne building on proposals made by many, amongst which is our partner Civico Europa on 9/5/17.
The plan proposed by Macron to all EU Heads of State in Spring 2018 was to launch in parallel conventions in all EU States from May to 30 October 2018 – to then harvest results and discuss them in the December 2018 European Council, in order to shape the agenda for the 2019 EP elections.
France – LREM has launched “Marche pour l’Europe” defining issues in April+May ‘18, Citizen conSULTATIONS (not Conventions) were launched on 9/5/18 and are now taking place until end-October 2018 – Conclusions of 165 Events online @ https://www.touteleurope.eu/qui-sommes-nous/toute-l-europe.html
Germany – Government has developed guidelines for “Citizen dialogues” (Europadialog). Our partners are active (Pulse Of Europe Housetalk, Pro-Europe Munich…). The website only presents events (e.g. some 20 in Berlin area to date), no conclusions online to date.
EI, Lux, SK have done something (no real results online), other countries (CZ, PL, ES, HR…) are less active, AT and BE still have to start. Nothing in IT, NL, Nordic countries, Baltic Countries, Islands, PT, HE, SI, RO & BG and, of course ;-), HU and UK.
Sources: https://www.touteleurope.eu/actualite/consultations-citoyennes-en-europe-que-font-les-autres-pays-europeens.html + Gio’s personal contacts
AllE IT – Minister Gozi had planned campaigns similar to LREM, but all is halted since Euro-sceptic parties won the March 2018 elections. Young IT federalists did an initiative called ‘Sottosopra’ in Spring ’18 where they listened to their members. The MFE plans ‘something’ as of Autumn ‘18, in view of the #EP19 elections. Gio contacted former Minister and MFE leaders to take-up the CiCos he has developed on Italian beaches
AllE HU – Contacts taken with UEF Hungary to carry further and develop contacts taken at Sziget Festival in August.
AllE Teams – AT+RO have highest potential due to running and future EU presidencies, but no active Team. HE (Athens), PT (Lisbon), Nordics (Stockholm) and Baltics (Vilnius?) identified with potential.
EU Commission – Gio in touch with persons briefing the President, re also Citizen dialogues (Where Commissioners & high level Com. officials dialogue with citizens). 572 events to date. 35000 people contributed to EU consultation to 31/7/18.
- CONSULT (Allow Citizens to put forward THEIR projects and questions)
- INFORM (Verify what the EU is already doing – or not, Pass information to participants)
- ENGAGE (Team them up with others active in same area)
- ACTION Develop actions or policy proposals for #EP19
2. HOW TO DO IT (updated 20/8/18, after CiCo IT-1)
2.1 BEFORE THE EVENT “Learning about Europe”
Segment events as a function of possible participants:
- By Location (Neighbours, Beach, Borough, or Townhall meetings): people mostly know each other and can discuss better, but hardships amongst participants may linger on.
- By Activity status (Kids / Students / Active Adults / Unemployed / Pensioned) these appear to be the most effective meetings in focusing on issues which can then be targeted in campaigns. Kids don’t vote, but their parents do.
- By Political party lines: allows to develop partnerships with parties
Bringing in kids will allow for the family feeling, simplify issues and (possibly) avoid aggressive behaviour, but will require more assistants/parents to help decode wording (1 per 5 kids).
Language: meetings with different languages will require professional or dedicated translation (by assistants)
Homework beforehand? Organisers can define their issue and/or ask participants to ‘do some homework’ beforehand
- Participants could, to develop their idea, contribute to EU consultation on the #FutureOfEU (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/consultation-future-europe_en)
- Study Macron/Merkel/Commission proposals (“Three visions, one direction”) https://ec.europa.eu/epsc/publications/other-publications/three-visions-one-direction—plans-for-the-future-of-europe_en
- And/Or Focus on one campaign;
- And/Or Focus on one of 5 Issues identified as most relevant by latest Eurobarometer 2018 (Immigration, Security, Eurozone, Jobs, Environment/Climate);
- German CiCos kept the entry barriers low and the issues open to the interests of the auditorium. Proved to work well.
- 1st IT CiCo was announced on most important issues, but these were eventually not covered. Only 3/20 participants filled-in a simple sheet before-hand (usually 1/3rd of participants do for Commission meetings). Is this a ‘holiday effect’?
2.2 DURING THE EVENT “Let’s talk about Europe”
Focus is on allowing participants to express their concerns (We LISTEN), Build on that to inform them on what the EU is already doing (We INFORM), to then possibly Co-create possible actions, campaigns, outcome…
For example, talking on the beach (because I started on the Riviera beaches) with kids asking them “Do you know what Europe is?” (Angela, 5 years old quipped “A City, but a BIIIG one” 😉 plastics in the sea came up, I mentioned the “no single plastic use by 2020 campaign” and 5 kids engaged to act on it for Bordighera by asking bars to propose clients not to use a straw.
Starters (for Italy): “We’re here to talk about Europe”
– “Do you know that we’ll be voting again next year?” It’s the 2nd biggest democracy in the world, yet, after an initial enthusiasm in the ‘80s, now less than 50% of European bother to vote. This is not healthy.
– “What do you know about Europe” ? Show Federalist flag and ask what it is. “I fell in Europe’s potion as a kid and am here to answer any question you might have”.
- It can work in Italy. True most present were friends, but there was a hard-core anti-EU Brexiter and 3 people, mostly against EU, joined in very ‘civically’, i.e. listening to others and not monopolising the discussion as it happens in all IT TV or real policy meetings I have attended to.
- Priorities amazingly follow Eurobarometers for Italy, even on such a low number. Employment (less present in Northern Europe), Immigration and Euro (absent elsewhere) top preoccupations.
- Segmentation is the key for the future (as Obama, Brexit, Trump and En Marche taught us). Older people (and kids) are more emotional, younger ones and adults use more arguments, but emotions feature high too.
- Information: During the meeting or in the debrief information was passed on Federal/Confederal States, EU powers, the Euro clearing and Target2 system, Figures on immigration (real & perceived)
- Evaluation (weighted 4 elements, 10 sheets): All found it original and instructive, 87% found it interesting, 47% found it fun/entertaining. All adults who gave their feed-back would vote for #EP19.
- It can work in Italy. True all present were people I knew, but many did not know each other and there were at least three open supporters of Eurosceptic parties. A few passers-by looked on, but none joined the debate like for the pilot. All joined in very ‘civically’, i.e. listening to others and not monopolising the discussion as it happens in all IT TV or real political meetings I have attended to.
- Priorities discussed did not follow those suggested by pilot + Eurobarometers for Italy (Un)Employment, Immigration and Euro. Issues were a Federal Union with majority voting, better communication/education one EU competencies and programmes for educating/training youth.
- Information: During the meeting or in the debrief, information was passed on Policies for which unanimity is requires, qualified majority in the EU; programmes for youth such as #DiscoverEU, #Becoming EU and European Solidarity Corps; vocational training and the EURES system.
- Evaluation (weighted 4 elements, 11 sheets): 88% found it interesting, 73% found it original, 52% found they learned (9/11 some or a lot), 33% found it fun/entertaining (9/11 some or a lot). 90% of those who gave their feed-back would vote for #EP19.
2.3 AFTER THE EVENT “Let’s build Europe”
Engage with participants to give feed-back on EU actions and inform them of opportunities on themes that interest them:
- Two participants asked me for information on grants for research mobility (MSC grants)
- One participant asked me for an EURES contact to recruit for his company
Engage with participants to enrol them in existing organisations (Customer Relationship Management):
- Most beach goers have been looking AllE up on our FB page or talking to me about it.
Develop actions under the #AllE umbrella, Develop Campaigns with wider allies, Bring results to EU, Member States and other partner organisations.
ONGOING ACTIONS (updated 26/8/18)–AllE Contact: Clarottig@gmail.com
Germany: To be updated by AllE-DE. Contact ???
Italy: Contact Clarottig@gmail.com
- 2 CiCos and Eurocanzone for kids organised in Bordighera by Gio.
- Participant from MFE (Italy UEF branch) have been contacted for their Autumn initiatives
Hungary: Contact ???
- contacts taken for #AllE / UEF / VOLT action in Hungary.
- Contact was made with Jeunesse Française doing actions on the French beaches