Forum for EU debate

A forum for citizens' debate on the European Union is being formed in Finland. The aim of the forum is to create a discussion and communication channel between the government and civil society activists.

The first meeting of the forum is planned for early autumn. In future, meetings will be held twice during every six-month EU presidency. They will be held on the eve of the European Council meetings. In addition, more meetings can be organised to debate certain themes or if events give reason for getting together.

Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen will call the meetings and he will also act as the chair. The vice chairs will be Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and Minister of Foreign Trade Kimmo Sasi.

Participants will be encouraged to co-operate independently of the official meetings. Regular public debating meetings will also be organised.

In between meetings the forum will be helped by new web pages called "Discussions about the future of the enlarging European Union". The pages will disseminate information about current EU events and national viewpoints. Members of the public will also be able to put questions and get answers about the EU. They will also be able to post their own views and comments on the pages. Additionally, the public can send information about their own events and discussion meetings.

See also:

Creating citizens' Europe

18 April 2001

Ombudsman concerned about EU openness

12 April 2001

Citizens encouraged to debate EU

2 April 2001

More EU debate urged

30 March 2001

Victory in fight for EU openness

15 March 2001

EU reluctant to be more open

14 March 2001

EU democratic deficit lamented

5 December 2000

Foreign minister unimpressed by EU vision

16 November 2000

EU "lacks vision"

13 November 2000

Future of EU: Debate ignites in Ireland

5 October 2000

Doubts grow about EU aims

3 October 2000

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