EM Germany Consultation in the home stretch: Board deliberates 2016/2017 Political Agenda
Twelve strong themes that encompass all: This is the goal pursued by the EM Germany Board as it deliberated on its 2016/17 Political Agenda last Friday. The twelve demands cover a broad spectrum, ranging from climate change, to the refugee problem, to improving education on the European Union, equality and European values. The fundamental theme of EM Germany, participation of civil society in and the democratisation of the political processes, also remains an integral part-immediately realised in a meeting between Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth and a few Board Members on the current ‘Spitzenkandidat’ debate. The topic, which would entail a politicisation of the European Commission, also made its way into the document upon the request of several Board Members.
Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, former spokeswoman of the European Commission and now head of all the Commission Representations across the EU, shared that a stronger politicisation formed the core of the Juncker Commission’s communication work. She stressed that dialogue instead of technocratic proclamations was the order of the day and that civil society partners were especially important for communication outside the capital cities. Ahrenkilde Hansen praised the collaboration between EM Germany and the European Commission in Berlin and emphasised its importance and necessity for a lively ‘Europe debate’ in Germany.
A lot of the political demands were contentious. The room generally agreed that, when considering various new amendments, a cogent and striking phrasing of the political demands was priority. Lively discussion, however, did take place on questions such as of “Should EM Germany campaign for lowering the voting age to 16?”. Ultimately, the Board agreed on a common political direction: Europe has to give the new generation more room and opportunities to participate and that, therefore, a society-wide discussion on the voting age would be useful. Different opinions were also present on the question “Is equality about same pay for same work or ‘only’ about the improvement of work-family balance?”. In the end, the Board Members found a compromise for the final draft, which they entrusted to the President and three Vice Presidents of EM Germany.
German texts: http://www.netzwerk-ebd.de/nachrichten/ebd-konsultation-auf-der-zielgeraden-vorstand-beraet-politische-forderungen-201617/, and http://www.netzwerk-ebd.de/nachrichten/mehr-politik-wagen-ebd-vorstand-diskutiert-spitzenkandidaten-und-europakommunikation/