ATHENS FEBRUARY 7, 2020. PARTICIPATION OF THE I.A.O. TO THE DIALOGUE ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE
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On behalf of the International Secretariat, the Secretary General of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) Dr. Andreas Michailidis, MP, sent a letter to the European Parliament and the European Commission, as well as to the Parliaments and all inter-parliamentary institutions with the following content:
“It is with particular interest that the International Secretariat of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) (www.eiao.org), was informed by the European Commission and the European Parliament on the decision to launch the Conference on the Future of Europe. An in-depth discussion process, to be completed within a period of two years, which will lead to proposals on the European Union’s future policy priorities, also giving European citizens a greater say on the European Union’s activities and how it works to their benefit. Policy fields to be identified would be European values, fundamental rights and freedoms, Democratic and institutional aspects of the EU, Environmental challenges and the climate crisis, Social justice and equality, Economic and employment issues including taxation, Digital transformation, Security and the role of the EU in the world. It is noteworthy that European institutional organs have agreed that the Conference process should be an open, transparent inclusive process with the participation of the European citizens. More specifically, the European Parliament welcomed the European Commission’s proposal for a Conference on the Future of Europe believing that, 10 years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it is an appropriate time to give EU citizens a renewed opportunity to have a robust debate on the future of Europe so as to shape the Union that we want to live in together.
Furthermore, the European Parliament resolution includes concrete proposals for the organization, composition and governance of the Conference process.
The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) firmly believes that the future of Europe is the future of the world and, therefore, welcomes the initiative of both the European Commission and the European Parliament. Moreover, the I.A.O. deems that all inter-parliamentary bodies, being fervent supporters of independent parliamentarism values and of the open participatory democratic process, also rising above regional interests and in the name of the citizens they represent, have the duty to actively seek a catalytic and institutionalized presence in the shaping of positions on issues of major importance ,such as Europe’s future course.
Thus, in light of this unique opportunity, the I.A.O. calls all counterpart Interparliamentary institutions –in terms of thematic scope or geographical designation- either effected in any way by EU political decision-making, or as stakeholders of joint decision-making, to pursue a dynamic presence in the Governance of the Conference process.
In addition, the I.A.O. encourages all counterpart institutions of a parliamentary nature to contribute in the shaping of common positions through a coordinated participation in the debate and via co-organization of joint activities.
The I.A.O. urges the European Parliament to provide interparliamentary bodies with a forum for presenting their positions during the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Future of Europe is not a national issue, but a key issue for each and everyone of us to contribute at individual, local, national, regional, continental and international level. It is the very nature of Interparliamentary institutions – cross-border, supranational and multicultural- that provides a promising assurance of a better future.
Closing, we would like to suggest to the European Parliament to include Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) representatives to the debate on Conference process Governance.
The I.A.O. extends its deep esteem and states its readiness to participate in the whole process.”