August 20. 2022. 6:54

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“The Future is in our hands: Our chance to shape the Conference on the Future of Europe” Opinion by Xabier Macias, President of Coppieters Foundation

While big corporations and lobby groups enjoy access and influence upon global institutions and international decision makers, it is rare that citizens and NGOs are given the opportunity to speak up – and more importantly to be heard – in Europe.

Social movements, minority groups and stateless nations are often at the periphery of the centres of power.

The Conference on the Future of Europe offers a slim chance for those voices to be heard.

It provides us a unique opportunity to debate and discuss and share our ideas and values to form another Europe. It is our ambition that this new Europe will respect the right to self-determination, subsidiarity and greater multi-level governance while promoting a true cultural and linguistic diversity and a fairer, socially just and greener Europe.

To achieve our vision and goal for Europe, we support the stateless nations, regions, and minorities as well as a stronger role for the local and regional authorities in the EU institutions to leave no one behind. But for us to achieve such a vision, we must be proactive if we ever hope to influence this timely democratic exercise.

That’s why we want to bring together community leaders, academics, human right advocates from places like the Basque Country, Catalonia, Scotland, Wales, Corsica, Cornwall, Ireland or Flanders to raise issues often neglected.

We want to pay special attention to cultural and linguistic diversity and how to promote Europe’s minoritised languages. We want to work towards improving our democracy and ensuring all voices are heard, as well as developing institutional systems to implement the right of self-determination at EU level. We want to outline a Europe of tomorrow that recognises all voices and that supports peaceful and democratic conflict resolution efforts.

On 7 December 2021, we organize with Iratzar Fundazioa our event The future is in our hands: Contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Let’s work together to use our diversity for a stronger unity and help shape Europe and our union for the years to come. The floor is yours: come join us for this debate and let’s take the future of Europe into our hands.

Yours faithfully,

Xabier Macías

President of the Coppieters Foundation

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