Constitution Now! Europe 's Citizens take the lead
5 December 2005, for immediate release
“The European Constitution is alive!” was the key message of the first European Citizens' Convention held in Genoa over the weekend. Citizens and civil society groups came together to find a way out of the current EU crisis.
“The heads of national governments must not bury the European Constitution”, said Jan Seifert, President of the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe).
Waving federalist flags and shouting “Give us back the constitution!” groups of young people from all over Europe took to the streets to demand the relaunch of the Constitutional Process.
Demonstrators dressed up as Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who were carrying a coffin with the constitution inside symbolising their failed leadership and their lack of commitment to Europe .
“We badly need leadership. As neither the Heads of State nor the European Commission live up to their responsibilities, we need the legitimate representative of the citizens – the European Parliament – to react”, Jan Seifert reiterated.
After two days of lively debate, the European Citizens' Convention urged the European Parliament to take the lead and initiate a new democratically elected Constitutional Convention in case no results have been achieved by the end of 2006.
“It is time that the debates around Europe be brought out to all parts of society. JEF commits itself to taking a leading role in this process and to continue promoting its ideas for a democratic and federal Europe .”
As part of that process, the European Citizens' Convention will continue to play a key role. In 2006, further meetings of the convention include Vienna and Paris .
For more pictures from Genoa, visit the JEF-Europe's picture gallery.