MFA launches a Civil Society Forum to contribute towards the Spanish EU Council Presidency

MFA launches a Civil Society Forum to contribute towards the Spanish EU Council Presidency

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, today chaired the launch of the Civil Society Forum, in which he highlighted that the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union must be a country project; a collective effort that involves the Spanish society as a whole”.

The Civil Society Forum is a participatory process, promoted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, with the aim of incorporating relevant personalities from the Spanish society in the preparation of the Spanish Presidency. The aim is to develop proposals that will feed the Presidency’s priorities.

The first session was chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, and was attended by the Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica.

In his speech, Albares pointed out that “during the Spanish Presidency, many important matters that are relevant for the well-being of Europeans will be handled”. The minister explained that “we want to give a voice to civil society in the Spanish Presidency. It is imperative that we listen to the contributions of all areas of Spanish society: civil agents, third sector organisations, science, culture, sports and many others. In the same manner as the Spanish Parliament and the Autonomous Communities are already working on this, the participation of civil society in the definition of the Presidency’s priorities is fundamental”.

In turn, Commissioner Dubravka Šuica, responsible for citizen participation, congratulated Spain “for being the first Member State to include citizens and civil society organisations, in such a direct manner, in the design of the Presidency’s priorities”. The Vice-President added that “this is something very remarkable, because this commitment brings the EU closer to its citizens and strengthens our democracy. This series of events will enable us to bring issues such as demographics, depopulation and territorial cohesion, which are everyday concerns of Spanish citizens, to an EU level”.

Following the opening session, the civil society participants held their first working session, to be followed by another, with the aim of agreeing on a final consensual text.


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