The EASEA today welcomes Jerzy Buzek’s proclamation of the European Parliament’s support for a statute for European associations during the plenary session in Strasbourg. The announcement follows the signing of Written Declaration 84/2010 by a majority of MEPs, that was submitted to the European Parliament through cross party support from Regina Bastos (EPP), Marc Tarabella (S&D), Pascal Canfin (Greens-EFA), Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE-NGL) and Renate Weber (ALDE). AEGEE was deeply involved during the whole initiative and was actively lobbying in the European Parliament for the written declaration 84/2011!
Members of European Alliance for the Statute of the European Association (EASEA) celebrate the success of the campaign for the setting up of a European Statute for European Associations, to give institutional recognition to the engagement and activism of millions of citizens who freely and voluntarily join together in associations across Europe.
For EASEA, the successful passing of the Written Declaration is a key step along the road towards building a common political culture that gives citizens from Member States the possibility to gather together within legally recognised transnational organisations.
Jean-Marc Roirant, President of the European Civic Forum, argues that “the wording of Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty reflects the need for a Europe that enjoys the participation of its citizens in its building process. A European statute for European associations would lay the foundations for the development of such European civil dialogue.”
Diogo Pinto, Secretary General of the European Movement International, remarks that “by its symbolic outreach, this statute would represent an official recognition of the legitimacy and the relevance of European associations’ collective voice in a more participatory European democracy.”
“European associations are key in promoting active citizenship and raising European awareness, especially among young people” affirms Peter Matjašic, President of the European Youth Forum, “and act as a vital link between European institutions and European citizens.”
“Launching a process towards the adoption of such a statute” argues Regina Ebner, President of EUCIS-LLL, “would be a significant political step forward in recognising the role and place of the Third Sector that today represents millions of workers and volunteers throughout Europe.”
“A European statute for European Associations would not only establish a common framework and recognise our European dimension, facilitate our transnational activities and ensure democratic functioning and sustainability at European level” concludes Conny Reuter, Secretary General of SOLIDAR, “it would also open the door for real social dialogue.”
The European Parliament will now forward the declaration and names of the signatories to the European Commission, the Council and the governments and parliaments of the Member States. Members of EASEA urge the institutions to take on board such recommendations to ensure recognition at the European level of European associations as a tool enabling citizens to give practical substance to the freedom of association. The European dimension of civil society organisations must be truly taken seriously.
Alexandrina Najmowicz, European Civic Forum: email@example.com, +33 143 14 39 53
Notes to the editor: