Civil Society Europe sent a letter to European Parliament President Roberta Metsola yesterday. We shared with the newly elected President some key recommendations on civil dialogue in order to put dialogue with representative associations of citizens at the centre of her mandate. Civil society plays a key role in the defense and promotion of the values enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty and the work of civil society organisations empowers people in all their diversity to speak up and participate in the democratic life of the Union. Yet civic space and civil dialogue are weak in our Union.
While Vice Presidents are traditionally allocated responsibilities for relations with trade unions and business associations, there is no Vice President in charge of relations with not for profit associations representing citizens, despite specific references in the EP rules of procedures.The midterm elections provide an opportunity to address this imbalance in the democratic participation of the Union. We are calling for the following to strengthen civil dialogue:
- Appoint a Vice President in charge of structured dialogue with civil society organisations representing citizens (and not just information to citizens).
- The Vice President in charge of civil dialogue should establish an open working group to review current practices for engagement and consultation of civil society across the work of the Parliament.
- Host a structured dialogue with civil society organisations at EU level in your role as President at least once a year.
Please find here our full letter.