Veranstaltungen: Dokumentation

6.3.2003

Guide Questions and Main Topics of the Workshops

General aims of the workshops

The participants in all the workshops should prepare, together with the reviewers, chairs and reporters, an action and requirement catalogue in respect of the European Convention, with the help of current and relevant guide questions and main themes on the titles of the workshops. This catalogue will be submitted to the Convention following the conference.

In this context the workshops are constructed:

  • to conduct an interactive and comparative European discussion on the forms of and possibilities to influence citizen participation in shaping the future of an enlarged European Union
  • to define innovative education processes and new educational content which can make a lasting contribution to promoting an active European citizenship and general public and to strengthening the civil society participation
  • to incorporate the necessary decision-making processes in line with gender equality as well as measures designed to bring about gender equality between men and women

  • Guide questions and main topics

    This Guide questions and main topics to be used by the reviewers and participants in their preparation and as guide themes. The reviewers are asked to deal with the following set of questions and their associations in 6-8 minute statements - the focus depending on the individual field of work and area of interests - and to provide impulses for the follow-up discussions in the participants´ round.

    Workshop I: On the way to a European Constitution?

  • A constitution for Europe – in which constitution is Europe?

  • How is the European Convention discussing the first constitution draft? How will it communicate to the citizens?

  • In the present constitution draft of the convention (article 2) there is no reference to gender equality. Therefore the draft fails to keep in step with the acquis communautaire and the Treaty of Amsterdam. Which challenges does the Convention face in order to come to terms with the principle of equal opportunities for men and women?

  • Forms of citizen participation in the current discussion on the constitution and the demand for it by the citizens.

  • Pros and cons of a constitution for the citizens in the EU.

  • What influence could the Youth Convention of July 2002 have on the discussion on the constitution? How will the special demands of young people be considered in the constitution drafts?

  • Will a constitutionally-guaranteed "Europe of the citizens" be able to foster a European general public and citizenship, or are other instruments needed?

  • Which values and constitutional culture will the new member states introduce into the EU?

  • What influence have the accession countries on the discussion process in the Convention?

  • Will a European referendum be able to strengthen or not the participative democracy in the EU?

  • Workshop II: Freedom – Security – Justice. Towards a Common Internal and Security Policy in the European Union?

  • Immigration and integration in the EU – which total European concepts and control models are being discussed in the Convention in this respect and will come to bear on the constitution draft?

  • Is the "Fortress Europe" being relocated to the new outer borders of the EU in the east? Which concepts for immigration and political asylum policy exist in the accession countries? How will the costs for safeguarding the outer borders of the EU be shared among the member states?

  • How does the EU deal with the partly populist public handling of the topics migration and refugee policy? Are the fears and worries of people being taken into account?

  • To what extent does the EU form today an area of freedom for all the people living in it, also for the so-called non-EU residents? How does the EU citizenship appear in the reality of present-day Europe?

  • National "going-it-alone" in the internal and security policy – how can a common European line assert itself? What will the integration of the third pillar of the EU in the EU Treaty bring in terms of changes?

  • Which instruments of the gender analysis and -evaluation are incorporated in order that the various effects of internal policies and the common foreign and security policy on men and women are able to be recognised, and thus to be able to be acted upon accordingly?

  • Workshop III: Democratization of the European Union

  • In the future will there be more subsidiarity in the EU? Does the EU need more democracy or more efficiency, or more efficient democracy? Which influence has the Convention on the necessary process of democratization in the EU? Will the Convention method be also used in the future?

  • Which balance in institutional powers does the constitution draft of the Convention foresee? A strengthening of the Council or the Commission? Will the parliament be actually more important?

  • How can the identification of the citizens with European legislation and the European Parliament be strengthened, is a reform of the electoral system necessary, and e.g. would this include referendums?

  • Without gender equality there is no democracy. Why does – in accordance with the specification of the Treaty of Amsterdam ("the Community shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality between men and women") – the strategy of the Gender Mainstreaming get no mention in the constitution draft of the Convention, e.g. in the form of a supplementary article which would accommodate the higher significance of the cross-sectional work of Gender Mainstreaming?

  • In what way can an active citizenship and civic participation in the EU be promoted? Without informed citizens there can be no democracy. What can civic education do, the media and the EU itself do?

  • Workshop IV: Economic and Social Governance in the European Union

  • What advantages would the inclusion into the constitution treaty of the economic and social objectives promoted in the Convention have?

  • National activities versus Community law in the economic- and social policy? – How will the competencies be distributed in the future and which role will the European Parliament play here?

  • Is the EU on the road to a common European "social area". What are the connections between gender equality and an "European social policy"? What are the advantages and disadvantages for the competitiveness of the European countries in Europe and throughout the world? Should the EU clearly do more against the high level of youth unemployment?

  • What can school and adult education contribute towards strengthening an European identity and the democratic competence of EU citizens? Should a strong promotion of education and culture be integrated into a reformed EU Structural Policy?

  • Which function can the so far specifically German concept of civic education have in this respect?

  • In order to be able to implement effectively the principle "equal opportunity for men and women", the system of Gender Budgeting could be introduced at all levels of financing in the EU.

  • Workshop V: The European Union as Global Player?

  • Positioning of the EU in the world – pros and cons of an European foreign policy and a common foreign minister as well as a EU seat in the UN Security Council?

  • What are the political and institutional requirements for a profiled common foreign policy? In what way can the greater unity of foreign policy action needed for this be achieved?

  • Global peace-keeping and combating terror – how will the relationship in the future with the USA be shaped?

  • New wars and threats – which security strategies does the EU pursue in south-east Europe, in the Caucasus, in the Middle-East and in North Africa, and how does it assert its interests?
  • What is the stand of implementing UN Resolution 1325 (Woman, Peace and Security Oct. 2000), according to which "the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace building, and the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution" was asserted?

  • How can the EU within the framework of an efficient common development policy react to the global divide between North and South. Catch phrase - the EU agricultural market: why is it e.g. not opened in the interests of the poorer neighbouring countries?

  • Workshop VI: Civil Society and Communication on a European Level

  • How are the representatives of the civil society included in the discussion process in the Convention? What forums and podiums are there and what influence have they?

  • Which concrete demands of the civil society organisations must be considered in the devising of the constitution draft?

  • What is the stand of the equal participation of men and woman in the decision-making process on a European level?

  • Were the suggestions and input of the regions and local councils taken into consideration in the process of reform of the EU? Will the EU Convention urge changes in this direction?

  • Which cultural and institutional requirements are necessary in order to cultivate a critical and active European general public?, Do we need an active European language policy? Can a European general public be strengthened through changes in the elections to the EP?

  • How does the electronic media handle European themes and how are the journalists themselves prepared for the Europeanization of the media public?

  • Is the internet already today or will it become in the near future a medium for cross-frontier understanding and strengthening of the public interest in European affairs?


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