Visit of representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations to the EC: extracts from the common press conference by José Manuel Barroso, Herman van Rompuy, László Surjan and Philosophical and Non-Confessional organisations
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 5 November 2013, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, received representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations to discuss about European citizenship. Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and László Surján, Vice-President of the EP, were also present. Around twenty leading representatives of philosophical and non-confessional organisations met to discuss "Putting citizens at the heart of the European project in times of change".
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels
||Joint arrival of László Surján, Vice-President of the EP, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, at the press conference
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in ENGLISH): I believe more unity is the best response to the crisis. But more unity has to be also accompanied by more democracy, more transparency, so that the citizens feel that they are really at the centre of the interests of the European Union. I believe that European democracy must be furthered by enhancing the relationship between national democratic processes and the European democratic process. This is the best way to involve our citizens in the decisions we take. As a consequence, we need to move further on the path towards a genuine European political sphere.
||Journalist taking notes
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): I believe that the solution to our problems is to be found within Europe, and not outside it. In fact it was not Europe that created the problems. Europe is part of the solution, Europe is helping the different governments to get things right to find the proper solutions.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||Soundbite by Herman van Rompuy (in FRENCH) saying that he is very happy that they had such an open and fruitful discussion. The point of view of humanistic and philosophical organizations is very important to answer the big questions they have about Europe. Because the ideas that members of these organizations have developed and externalized for centuries have allowed the concept of citizenship take body in the life of EU countries, regions and cities.
||General view of the Speakers
||Soundbite by László Surján (in ENGLISH): Putting citizens at the heart of the EU is a necessary condition for democratic legitimacy. This was the original idea of the Founding Fathers of the EU. Well remember, Jean Monet said "We are uniting people and not countries". In May 2014 citizens will be at the epicentre of Europe as they will shape the most important European elections to date. This is an opportunity not to be missed: voters will choose who is in charge of Europe and in which direction the EU should go.
||View of the Members of philosophical and non-confessional organisations