Please read the first newsletter of TOWN NETWORKING THROUGH THE ATLANTIC, an EU project funded under Europe for Citizens programme, leaded by Gijon City Council and whose partners are AIRE 198, CARDIFF and Vale do Ave, associated with the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities.
In 2005, French and Dutch citizens unequivocally rejected the constitutional treaty that was to lay the foundation for a common political space in Europe. They were not alone in criticizing the institutions of the Union: political leaders quickly took the opportunity to question the role played by universal suffrage; the massive disinterest of European citizens was diagnosed; and bureaucrats bore the brunt of the massive attacks against political Europe as it functions today.
Yet, the very fact that such a political space already exists has been obfuscated by these accusations. There is more: as Étienne Pataut shows in his analysis of the role of the European Court of Justice, European citizenship has little by little been given firm legal foundations, and can now rely on a coherent body of recognized and guaranteed rights (The Invention of the European Citizen).
During the European Year for Volunteers 2011 and within the Programme “Europe for Citizens“, in early February Aviles hosted the Atlantic Citizens Meeting with the citizens of Saint-Nazaire, a city with which it was twinned in 2003. The get-together, promoted by the city of Aviles’ Town Council Department for Citizen Participation and the Coordinator for European Programmes, includes the active participation of Aviles’ associations, with a total of 22 entities that make up the organisation together with the school workshop COMUNIKA. The Saint-Nazaire delegation is made up of 30 people, including Town Hall representatives and technicians, members of neighbourhood councils, and different members of associations and federations. The aim of the Meeting was to exchange experiences regarding citizenship participation; promote the direct knowledge of the reality of both cities and propose initiatives to be carried within the framework of the European Year for Volunteers.
These and other joint activities were presented at the Niort meeting. You can consult the presentation here.
Further information: http://ciudadaniaavilesstnazaire.blogspot.com/