Europe 2020 – European Citizens and the EU institutions
On April 26 in Milano was held the third and final presentation of the book “Europe 2020: Civic Vision”.
The meeting was organized with the kind cooperation of the Information Office of the European Parliament in Milano and its director Mrs. Cavenaghi-Smith.
“Europe 2020: Civic Vision” was presented by the director of the Bulgarian foundation European Institute Foundation, Mrs. Lubov Panayotova.
Participant in the discussion was Mrs. Lara Comi (EPP/PDL) - Vice-Chairwoman of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, member of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan and Substitute of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee).
She is the youngest Italian member of the European Parliament but that only encourages her to be among the most active ones. What the EU is still lacking as a community in her words, is the sense of belonging to Europe. “People will not say that they come from Europe. They say ‘I am a Bulgarian’, ‘I am Italian”, but they never say “European”.
Mrs. Comi thinks that people do not understand what exactly happens in the European institutions because things run too slowly, “A topical decision for today, will usually be made after months…” This is also the reason why she prefers the Internet as major communication means; there, all important information reaches her electorate immediately.
Mr. Mateo Fornara from the EU Representation in Milano expressed his and his institution’s gratefulness for the overall initiative “Interacting with the European Parliament”. He said it was worthy of remark that such an important issue like the citizens’ participation is being raised by a new member state, almost unknown so far to the others.
The participants were also addressed by the Bulgarian consul in Milano, Mr. Rossen Rouftchev.
Moderator and host of the event was Mrs. Cavenaghi-Smith
The book "Europe 2020 - Civic Vision" (pdf. format) presents a summary of the two-year campaign for promoting the interaction between European citizens and the European Parliament - the only directly elected European Union institution. In the frameworks of the debates about the future of Europe, the ambition of the book is to contribute to paving the way forward and to the role of citizens and of civil organizations in the process of building a united Europe.
The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek addressed the participants in the events in a special video message which is to be played during the presentations in Brussels, Paris and Milan in April and will be published on EUROPE Gateway. "This remarkable collection of proposals touches upon a concept, which is very dear to me - the concept of citizenship. To me an active citizen is someone who does not take things for granted, who questions power, who takes an active role in improving the community of which he is part and who respects the rules when they stem from real democracy", Prof. Buzek shared in his video message.