The founding congress of Eumans, a pan European movement of advocates and activists from around Europe founded to promote political actions and mobilizations for sustainable social and political decisions by the European Union, concluded its first congress on 12 March 2022, in Warsaw.
The Congress wishes to thank all those that participated in the various sessions and the general debate, as well as the hundreds of people that followed the meeting off and online. A particular thanks is extended to the Polish activists that embraced and supported the idea and its implementation from day one.
The Congress salutes the election of the charges of co-presidents and looks forward to continuing together with them the work planned in Warsaw.
While the Congress was meeting at the Copernicus Center, a war of aggression was - is - being waged by the leadership of a regime that systematically violates human rights of its people compressing their individual freedoms. A conflict that institutions, governments and commentators have called a “war at the heart of Europe”.
Even if shocked and deeply wounded, the heart of Europe has responded with a resolve never seen before to counter the heinous crimes committed by the Russian army against civilians in Ukraine. The sympathy and solidarity that European citizens have demonstrated towards the victims of the war confirms that peoples are ready to react concretely when human lives are at stake, inspiring decision-makers to reorganize the dynamics of diplomacy and accelerate decisions that national interests or bureaucracy have stalled for years.
The need to be proactive today to provide humanitarian assistance and refuge for millions of people fleeing bombardments, stop the attacks and halt the destruction of lives, animals, properties as well as the environment, cannot justify the need to work and plan for a durable and sustainable peace for tomorrow - a peace based on the promotion and protection of universal human rights through the respect of the Rule of Law and the practice of democracy.
The Congress admires the courageous resistance of the Ukrainian people and the bravery of thousands of Russians that took to the streets to denounce the attack on their, our, brothers and sisters. Our hearts go out to the victims of the war and their family for their losses, their sacrifice to defend Europe should not be in vain.
In the midst of the sanitary emergency, the European Union was the first entity to revolutionize her plans and be up to the challenge posed by the virus. In a matter of weeks the EU dedicated substantial resources to contain Covid 19, and assist Member States, and third countries, in all their social, sanitary and economic needs. Eumans was among the first to petition with success the European Parliament to be bold and forward thinking on what needed to be done in those dramatic days taking into consideration the best available science to adopt crucial decision for the future of humanity. At that time, holding the first Council on Participatory Democracy and the EU CAN DO IT Petition, EUMANS was among the first to ask for the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe and for ensuring the protection of the Rule of Law and activation of participatory democracy instruments in times of emergency, whilst the tendency was a contraction of those.
Today, facing a war, similar reactions are absolutely necessary to foster a sustainable future that should be built with clear, concrete and reachable objectives, involving the active participation of citizens in their planning and implementation.
Crucial issues have been on the European agenda for years but have been systematically sidelined by national interests, political dynamics or geo-strategic considerations to respond to other emergencies that have overstepped people’s needs and rights.
The Conference on the Future of Europe provided a unique platform to hear from everyday citizens on what should be on the European agenda and how to reach it. The Congress invites the EU to keep the Conference an open ended exercise to consolidate the role that people can play in the decision making process that affects their daily lives.
The recent violent and tragic events in our continent cannot be digested easily and should not make us go back to business as usual.
Europe is a political project emerged from the ashes of World War II, a project fruit of the ideas of political prisoners that lost their freedom, or lives, to oppose authoritarian regimes. Europe remains a political project, possibly the only political project, that has pulled together sovereign States to elevate individual rights to the level of governmental prerogatives and interests.
The pandemic and the war can only relaunch those ideals of egalitarianism, solidarity, sustainability and freedom through the strengthening of the democratic mechanisms of the EU with particular attention to science-based debates and evidences.
Mindful of the fact that voting for the European Parliament is not proof that there is a European democracy, the Congress believes that democracy is first and foremost based on human rights, individual freedoms and the rule of law.
On these issues, the European Union is a perfectible democracy.
For these reasons we have gathered here and decided to found this movement of people who want to fight and achieve them together in Europe.
The Congress has set a series of priorities for the Eumans leadership and its members starting from the design of the pan European citizens movement itself, they are:
Accelerate the creation of the "European Association Statute";
Define the criteria and rules of engagement for a fully functioning civic platform where citizens can trigger democracy, affirm freedom and promote sustainability through the activation of existing institutional and non institutional participatory democracy instruments and launching a voluntary scheme for European Citizens to candidate themself to be part of sortition based citizens assemblies organised by EUMANS to define its own political objectives.
The Congress fully supports the request of Ukraine to become a member of the European Union and urges the Council, the Commission and the Parliament to expedite the process keeping in mind the powerful political meaning that such a decision would mean for that country as well as to other European states and peoples from the Balkans to the Southern Caucasus in terms of political solutions to conflictual regional and international problems.
Furthermore, with regard to the ukrainian conflict and all the other war scenarios in the world, the Congress support the process for the achievement of Sustainable Peace: something different and alternative to simple neutrality between the authors of the war and its victims, but a concrete process to the realization of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.
The Congress believes that the activation of supra-national jurisdictions should also become part of future actions of the Movement as well as the Union and European citizens. From the International Court of Justice to the International Criminal Court passing through other UN quasi jurisdiction, the Congress mandates the Leadership of the Movement to explore all possible ways to make the voice of concerned and competent citizens heard.
As regards the realisation in objectives and actions of these shared beliefs, the Congress mandates the Presidents to priorities the following objectives:
-back any campaign that will support the recommendation of the Citizens Panel of the Conference on the Future of Europe on the institutionalization of a EU Referendum, the permanent European Citizens Assembly, the abolition of the Veto Power within the European Council that holds reforms hostage to national politics.
- identify a pan-European goal for the protection of the rule of law that can be supported by EU citizens and that can strengthen the efforts of the European Commission and the European Parliament
-support citizens’ recommendations of the "EU in the World/Migration" Panel of the Conference on the Future of Europe, calling on European institutions to take a big step forward in the sharing of foreign and energy policies. A 'Joint Armed Forces of the European Union' can be more effective, inclusive and less expensive in fostering a durable and sustainable peace. To this end, the removal of the unanimity rule in foreign policy matters within the Council is necessary.
-the ongoing conflict in Ukraine confirms that the reduction of dependencies from oil and gas imports, to allow the autonomy of Europe in energy policy as well as ambitious climate and CO2 reduction targets, is no longer postponable and should become part and parcel of any future foreign strategy.
- the definition of the above-mentioned recommendations must be entrusted to citizens themselves through the establishment of a Citizens Assembly on EU Foreign and Energy Policy in line with international best practices. The Congress invites participants in Warsaw and those that attended remotely to participate in a demonstration on 13 March 2021, to raise public and institutional awareness on those issues. Only a radical reform of policies and competences in foreign and energy fields will allow Europe to plan for a sustainable future and come to the rescue of those that may be victims of conflict like the one that sees the Ukrainians harassed by the Russian invasion.
- as far as individual freedoms and the relationship between personal choices and scientific evidences are concerned, the Congress mandates the presidents to finalize the definition, promotion and launch of a pan-European initiative for the European Living Will.
- launch a European Citizens Initiative on Cannabis to foster continental reforms against arbitrary prohibitions and incarceration on the personal use of the plant.
- analise and promote initiatives that include Sexual and Reproductive Health, as well as individual freedoms of LGBTQIA+ people, in the framework of European Union regulations, starting from the expansion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights that take into consideration scientific evidences. Priority should be given to those instances that are relevant in Eastern European countries starting from Poland where these rights are under threat.
- strengthen all initiatives for a European Union leadership for a global agreement on Carbon Pricing at COP27, in line with the recommendations of the intergovernmental panel on climate change IPCC. Support and promote national and European initiatives aimed at the protection of the ecosystem, the preservation of public health and the sustainable management of every resource.
- furthermore, the Congress salutes the adoption of the Statute of Eumans that, among other things, foresess the annual election of its charges and trimestral assemblies to assess and evaluate the internal life of movement as well as the progress to achieve the objectives set in Warsaw on 11 and 12 March 2022.
- participants call on the leadership to identify a European politically meaningful place to convene the first assembly - Cyprus, the Balkans, the Caucasus or North Africa - to consolidate the decision to hear and involve local voices in the international decision-making process that affects their lives.
Finally, the Congress launches the Eumans membership campaign for 2022, and calls on all members to invite their contacts to enroll and become an active part of the Movements’ activities for a sustainable peace through freedom, democracy, human rights and the Rule of Law.