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Daybreak was sunny. The large main room of the Sinaia Casino, in Rumania, was filled with the expectations of 140 men and women from 40 European countries. Dacian Ciolos welcomed them. Manola Rauss placed the meeting in the framework of the Alliance World Assembly.

Sandro Guiglia and Elise Massicard, facilitators of the group "Democratic governance for Europe" proposed that the civil society should design a European project for the future, utopian and realistic, at the service of citizens. How can a European public opinion be developed, with social organisations of continental dimension? How can institutions be reformed on the basis of the principle of active subsidiarity? How will a political European Union contribute to an innovative world governance? How will we define the role of European politics facing the globalisation of the economy? How can a debate be organised on a new European constitution based on a participatory process?

Homo economicus and homo ludens

The group "Work and social organisation", facilitated by Hans Harms and Hugues Puel, highlighted that we've been moving from "homo ecomomicus" to "homo ludens". Our responsibility is to find concrete solutions to the crisis of trust in politics. How can we organise our societies where having a permanent job as source of income, is also in crisis? How can we increase civic involvement in common matters? How a European citizenship be organised, which will go beyond negotiations among government interests? This meeting, with people from different European cultures, will be a key experience to learn how to create a common future.

Philippe Cacciabue and Iain Farquhar from the group "Rural world and sustainability" highlighted that Europe with an unsustainable agriculture was built to respond to the fear of war and hunger. How can we elaborate new sustainable production systems? How can we use technology that favours nature when the agrifood industry is resisting change? How can we recover citizens' trust in the food system that supports quantity? What could a new contract between agriculture and society be like? How can we orient the enlargement of the European Union? We are excited that in our group, there are 37 persons and 27 nationalities to share concerns and proposals!

Living together for better living

The "Migrations and intercultural citizenship" group, facilitated by Karine Boyer and Paul Oriol, believes that facing demographic decrease and labour scarcity, a "fortress Europe" is inadequate. The European Community cannot consider its future without taking the rest of the world into account. How can codevelopment contribute to the expansion of the weakest economies? How can we invent another form of development, which is not as unsustainable as the Western form? What alternative policies on borders are there? How can we improve integration processes so they facilitate living together for better living?

The session ended with three participants' reflections: For the first time in a European meeting of the Alliance, 60 % of the participants are not from the EU! Keeping in mind that the majority of decisions is taken by politicians... how can they be influenced by the civil society? Shouldn't we start speaking of the "Peoples' Europe"?

More tomorrow!

>From Sinai, in Rumania, on June 17, 2001, European Continental Meeting

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