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Brussels, Paris and Milan – Discussions about the Civic Vision for Europe 2020 in April

The book "Europe 2020 - Civic Vision" will be presented in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday. The book gives a summary of the two-year "Interacting with the European Parliament" campaign, implemented by the European Institute, the Centre for Policy Modernisation and EUROPE Gateway.

The book "Europe 2020 - Civic Vision" 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 this 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.

Here is some information about the events in advance:

The first presentation of the book in front of audience will take place on Tuesday, April 13, 3.00 to 4.30 p.m. EET in Room JAN 6Q1 in the building of EP in Brussels.

 MEP Mariya Nedelcheva (EPP- GERB), member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (only Bulgarian member of this committee) and the Committee on Petitions, as well as the Social Economy Intergroup Bureau will host the meeting.

The event will be carried out with the support of MEP Vladimir Urutchev (EPP-GERB) - member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.

The Director of the European Institute Lubov Panayotova will present the book, MEPs will make statements which are to be followed by a lively discussion on topics such as the future of the European Social Fund; does stronger Europe mean larger Europe; will the Citizens' Initiative work in practice; when will farm subsidies be made equal; are the proposed anti-crisis measures in the  European social policy effective; the development of which renewable energy sources will be the fastest and will have greatest future impact in Bulgaria, etc.

The special guest of the discussion will be Pascale Gruny (EPP), Chair of the Working Group for the European Social Fund at the European Parliament, member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Petitions, as well as member of the Delegation for relations with Switzerland, Iceland and Norway and to the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Parliamentary Committee.

A video recording of the presentation and the discussion will be published on EUROPE Gateway.

"Europe's Place in the World in 2020" is the leading topic in the second event prepared by the project team in Brussels - it will be carried out the following day  - Wednesday, April 14, again 3 - 4.30 p.m. EET - a Vexbox discussion which will be broadcast live on Europe Gateway.

The discussion will be carried out with the cooperation of MEP Kristian Vigenin (S&D - BSP) - Chair of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly /i.e. the Eastern Partnership - Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia/, coordinator of the S& D Group in the Committee on Foreign Affairs and member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. 

Besides Vigenin, Vladimir Kisiov,  member of the EPP Group in the Committee of Regions Bureau and former Chief Negotiator with EU for Bulgaria and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs who is also a member of Sofia Municipal Council. 

Special guest of the discussion will be German MEP and Vice-Chair of the ALDE Group in EP, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff - member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China and substitute member of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (African, Caribbean and Pacific goup of states). During the Voxbox-discussion the book will be presented by its editor Tihomira Trifonova of the Centre for Policy Modernisation. Student laureates of the Europe Scholarship, awarded by Mr. Vigenin will also take part in the discussion about European Union foreign policy, relations with Russia, energy independency, and other geopolitical matters.

Journalists from Radio Bulgaria of the BNR and from PROBG television are also in Brussels with the project team of "Interacting with the European Parliament" to prepare pieces and programmes on a broad spectrum of topics, related to the future of the European Union.

The capital of France - one of the founding member states of the European Community - is the next location where discussions regarding the civic vision for Europe in 2020 will take place.

A Round-table on the topic of "EU Enlargement and Europe 2020 - Civic Vision" will take place on April 22 from 11.30 CET in the hall of the EP Information office of in Paris. 

Special guest of the discussion will be Bulgarian MEP Metin Kazak (ALDE-MRF) - Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights at the EP, coordinator of the Committee on International Trade and substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Mr. Kazak is the author of the report examining trade and economic relations between EU and Turkey. The first reading of the draft report is scheduled for April 28 in the Committee on International Trade. Two days before that Metin Kazak will speak at a round-table in Paris about the relations between the EU and Ankara, about the political agenda and the public opinion regarding the enlargement.

The debate which is to be carried out in French is organised with the cooperation of EP Information Offices in Paris and Sofia. Their managers - Alain Barrau and Violeta Stanichich - will also participate in the discussion.

The President of the French School of Journalism in Paris  (Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme - ESJ), Guillaume Jobin, will also speak about the enlargement of the European Union and the place of Turkey in the Union.

Students of ESJ from different EU and non-EU countries will be part of the audience of the round-table, provoking the participants in the discussion with their opinions. The book "Europe 2020 - Civic Visions" will presented by the Director of the European Institute, Lubov Panayotova. Moderator of the discussion will be Laura Dagg, Chief Editor of -  а French-based European information portal, a media partner of EUROE Gateway.

The presentation of "Europe 2020 - Civic Vision" is also scheduled for April 26 in Milan, Italy.   The event will take place in EP Information Office for Italy. Representatives of the local public, of civic organisations and experts will participate in the discussion.

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