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At Berlin’s Futurium. L-R Omri Preiss, Alliance for Europe, István Hegedűs, Hungarian Europe Society, Dominik Kirchdorfer, European Future Forum Alexandrina Najmowicz, European Civic Forum, Roger Casale, New Europeans

 

Volonteurope is delighted to be helping lead a new festival of democracy to run alongside the EU’s Future of Europe Conference.

Taking inspiration from Edinburgh’s world-famous Fringe Festival, Volonteurope has joined other civil society organisations to launch #EuropeFutureFringe .

The Fringe will bring together independent events across Europe, including in countries outside the EU such as the UK and Balkans, helping citizens share ideas and conversations about Europe’s future.

Volonteurope has signed an open letter outlining plans for the Fringe which includes signatures from Roger Casale of New Europeans, Antonella Valmorbida from the Association for Local Democracy in Europe (ALDA), Dominic Kirchdorfer from European Future Forum, Francis Sealey from GlobalNet21, and István Hegedűs, President of the Hungarian Europe Society.

It calls for #EuropeFutureFringe to energise debate and occupy the ‘spaces-in-between’ the formal Conference consultations, which many will see as top down and driven by politicians.

Piotr Sadowski, Volonteurope General Secretary, said: “We’re delighted to be helping organise #EuropeFutureFringe which will be of huge interest and relevance to our diverse group of members, many of which work with hundreds of volunteers representing all walks of life.

 

“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.

 

“That is vitally important as Europe is a community of values, not simply a set of institutions in Brussels.”

The idea of a Europe Future Fringe was first made at Volonteurope’s Annual Conference last November in a keynote speech by Roger Casale, Secretary General of New Europeans.

Since then 44 civil society organisations meeting in Milan, including the Italian European Movement, have signed a declaration supporting the idea.

Roger Casale, said: “Like Edinburgh’s Fringe festival which has become the dominant and influential voice of the arts world, I believe we, as a united sector, should occupy the fringe of EU politics alongside the Future of Europe Conference.

 

“We have a unique opportunity as civil society to understand and crowd-source ideas about what needs to be done within Europe.

 

“We work on the front line and see all the issues facing society, so we should play a major role in helping shape the future direction of Europe.

 

“Citizens will switch off very quickly if they think the Future of Europe Conference is all about politics and not about them. That’s why we need to kick start the conversation.”

To join us in the Fringe campaign please  click here[:]