VGE vs. Prodi: the people support the Commission
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's decision to invite Romano Prodi to an open public debate about the Future of Europe must be welcomed as a major effort to bring the debates of the Convention into the wider public sphere.
"The bad news for Giscard is that the people support Prodi!" stated Alison Weston, President of JEF-Europe (Young European Federalists)
As part of the activities of JEF across the continent to celebrate Europe Day on 9th May, JEF tested public opinion, asking whether citizens would support the idea of a European Federal Constitution.
"In mini-street referenda that took place in 12 cities across Europe, more than 90% of people were in favour," continued Alison Weston. "This is yet more evidence that the intergovernmental methods favoured by Mr Giscard d'Estaing are simply not a solution for tomorrow's enlarged Europe."
"Europe needs a strong President. But it should be Mr Prodi's position in the Commission that is strengthened as opposed to creating a new, permanent Council President."
The street referenda and Europe Day activities are part of a wider project organised by JEF, entitled Europe! A Generation Ahead, the aim of which has been to engage citizens in debate about the future of the European Union.
"We have organised debates and activities about the Convention in 300 cities and have done our bit to get the people involved," stated Marianne Bonnard, Secretary General of JEF.
"Wherever the debate between Giscard and Prodi takes place - and it must happen - it's time for the politicians themselves to take the debate to the people and listen to what the citizens are telling them."
More information about JEF's Europe Day activities, and results of street referenda, please see: