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EU – everyone's business - 02/04/2008

Three young people behind faint newspaper print

Wider consultation on where Europe should be going - ongoing dialogue to encourage public involvement.

Decisions taken by the EU often have a direct effect on our daily lives – the cap on mobile phone roaming charges, for instance, or the European eco-label with its distinctive flower emblem.

The people that take those decisions need to know your views on them. Communications commissioner Margot Wallström thinks EU policies should be "fully anchored in the political parties, in the national democratic traditions, and in the daily political dialogue". Europe should be discussed by everybody - in town halls, regional assemblies, national parliaments and internet forums.

To boost public participation in the debate, the Commission will co-fund a string of projects throughout this year and next, including:

  • public consultations throughout Europe
  • national initiatives giving Europeans the chance to get involved in the EU's decision-making process
  • exhibitions, debates and seminars run by the Commission and the European Parliament in capital cities
  • support for online networks to share information and ideas

These projects build on the "plan D" communication strategy which was launched in 2005 in response to the Dutch and French "no" votes in the EU constitutional treaty referenda. In the following two years, a series of cross-border consultation projects were held and co-funded by the Commission. The idea behind today's "Debate Europe" policy paper is to strengthen plan D in preparation for the European elections in June 2009.

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