[:en]With the conference on the Future of Europe due to start in May we’re delighted to be helping lead a new ‘fringe’ festival of democracy.

Volonteurope has joined the working group of  #Europefuturefringe, a new initiative inspired by Edinburgh’s world-famous Fringe Festival, which will bring together events from all across Europe.

The ‘fringe’ idea was first mentioned at our annual conference in November by Roger Casale, of New Europeans, in his keynote speech.

It’s was because of the positive responses from our members to the idea of a festival to energise conversations and occupy the ‘spaces-in-between’ the formal conference consultations that #Europefuturefringe was launched.

Since then, the initiative has been endorsed by 44 civil society organisations meeting in Milan, including the Italian European Movement, who signed a declaration supporting #Europefuturefringe.

The Brussels Times and Parliament Magazine have also covered the fringe amongst others and a new website www.europefuturefringe.com has just gone live and is still being developed.

Organisations who sign up will soon be able to post their events on the website showcasing their work and championing issues that should be at the heart of conversations about Europe’s future.

Events will be categorised around three or four main ideas, these are still in development but suggested topics include citizenship, identity and democracy.

It’s hoped the website will bring organisations together to share ideas, new perspectives and have their say in the future of Europe debate.

Piotr Sadowski, our General Secretary said: “Europe Future Fringe is a great opportunity for members, many of which work with hundreds of volunteers representing all walks of life.

 

“It’s free and will hopefully raise the profile of our network, our individual organisations and wider civil society to a European audience including policy makers close to the conference itself.

 

“One of the great things about the festival is that we’ll be able to reach people outside the EU’s borders, for example in the UK, Ukraine and the Balkans, involving them in the future of Europe debate.

It’s free to join the fringe festival and post on the website you just need to sign up at www.europefuturefringe.com. The website is still being developed but once you sign up more information will be emailed in due course.

We’ll keep you updated as things progress but don’t forget you can follow updates and join in the conversation at #Europefuturefringe[:]