Belgian Committee: first meeting and declaration

Belgian Committee for the promotion of a
European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)
in favour of a
European Special Plan for Sustainable Development and for Employment


On Wednesday 17th April, 2013, on the initiative of the Belgian section of the Union of European Federalists, the Belgian Committee for the promotion of the European Citizens’ Initiative on a European Plan for Sustainable Development and for Employment has been created on the basis of the statement of support enclosed below.

The meeting has been introduced by the UEF Belgium President Michele Ciavarini Azzi, who explained the reason why UEF Belgium decided to propose and to support this ECI.

Following to this introduction, the coordinator of the European network of civil society organisations supporting this ECI, Roberta Carbone, presented the contents of this Initiative and the past and future steps for a successful ECI. First of all, it was underlined the importance of the ECI instrument, as a tool of participatory democracy. Then, the urgency of a European development plan was presented with the help of some meaningful figures on the unemployment and on the public debt of the EU member states: it became evident for all how important it is the recovery of the European economy, with the aim to create new jobs, namely for young people. Finally, the situation of the Committees in the other EU countries was presented, and it was highlighted that many Committees have already been created and some more will be very soon.

Furthermore, it was showed the statement of support that the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz addressed to the promoters of this ECI and that can be read on the website of the European Committee.

In a second phase, the president of the Permanent Forum of European Civil Society, Pier-Virgilio Dastoli, showed both the challenge and the opportunities represented by the ECI, instrument created by the Treaty of Lisbon (Art. 11.4, TEU). It is a challenge both for the EU institutions and for the civil society. Nonetheless, thanks to the ECI the citizens could finally become active in the EU decision making process.

Then, the secretary-general of UEF-Europe group, Catherine Vieilledent, who has been active from the beginning in shaping this ECI, took the floor. She explained why this Initiative is important and she stated that UEF-Europe group is willing to join the Belgian Committee and to support this ECI.

In a third phase of the meeting, the representatives of the organisations took the floor, and a fruitful debate followed.

The following organisations joined the Committee: Permanent Forum of European Civil Society, Palombella, T.I.R.E.S., UEF Belgium, UEF-Europe group.

The vice-president of U4U, Vlassios Sfyroeras, and the president of the Club of Rome EU Chapter, Marc Dubrulle, joined the Committee on an individual basis. These two organisations will join after an internal debate.

The Committee also gathered many individual subscription.

Statement of support

The political, economic and social civil society organisations

well aware

that from the severe world crisis hitting Europe we cannot get out with austerity measures only, which – in the absence of adequate policies for growth – are bound to produce recession and undermine the competitiveness of the European economy;

that the European Union must promote a Plan for an ecologically and socially sustainable development, financed by European taxes on financial transactions and on CO2 emissions, and by euro project-bonds to relaunch growth and employment;


to mobilize their forces and their national and European networks, in order to orient public opinion and public authorities towards the objective of the implementation of a European Special Plan for Sustainable Development and for Employment, notably with the launch of a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), the instrument of participative democracy provided by the Lisbon Treaty (Art. 11.4, TEU).

The Belgian Committee for a European Special Plan for Sustainable Development and for Employment is established with these aims and with these commitments.

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