Five MEPs – Marc Tarabella (S&D, Belgium), Regina Bastos (EPP, Portugal), Pascal Canfin (Greens/EFA, France), Renate Weber (ALDE, Romania) and Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL, France) – have cosigned a written declaration asking the European Commission to “take the necessary steps to introduce proposals for a European Statute for Associations (EA), Mutuals (EM), and Foundations (EF), to propose a feasibility study and an impact assessment on the EA and the EM, and to complete the impact assessment on the EF in due course”.
In order to become a Parliament official position and to be transmitted to the Commission, this declaration must be signed by a majority of MEPs within three months as from its official presentation at the Parliament expected in November 2010. During this period, the declaration will be available for signature of all MEPs in plenary sessions in Strasbourg and committees and groups sessions in Brussels. To meet this challenge and collect the required number of signatures, AEGEE, as a member of the European Civic Forum, supports the initiative of the European Civic Forum, that will be working in close coordination with the International Association of Mutuals and the European Foundation Center and will run together with other civil society organizations an awareness raising campaign.
Associations promote active citizenship within Member States and act as key service providers in the field of social economy. Their role in shaping Europe’s democratic life, culture and the European social model is widely recognized, whereas the freedom of association is incorporated in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The wording of article 11 of the Lisbon treaty reflects the need for a Europe that enjoys the participation of its citizens and representative associations in its building process.If the European dimension is to be taken seriously, it appears necessary to recognize at European level a reality all Member States are already recognizing at national level, i.e. a tool enabling citizens to give practical substance to the freedom of association.
At its parliamentary session on 10 November 2010, the European Parliament will open for signature a written declaration calling on the European Commission to table three proposals for European statutes for foundations, associations and mutuals respectively. If adopted, the declaration will give a clear political signal from the Parliament to the Commission and help advance the dossier of the European Foundation Statute.