Mrs. Pötering, President of the European Parlament,during his opening speech./Photo: European Parlament  
Mª Helena de Felipe, President of AFAEMME, participates in the first Citizens' Agora organized by the European Parliament
  The president of AFAEMME, Mrs. Mª Helena de Felipe Lehtonen, participated in the European Parliament’s first Citizen’s Agora that took place in Brussels on the 8th and 9th of November to discuss topics in reference to the future of the European Union. AFAEMME was one of the five Spanish Organizations invited to the event by Mr. Pöttering, President of the European Parliament, to contribute with their point of view on how to approach the challenges that the European Union faces.

The Agora was centred in debating the future challenges of the Union, as well as the new opportunities and tools that the new reform Treaty introduces. The event was structured to count with five work groups which held two meetings, participating all in two plenary debates. Each one of the work groups discussed the same topic (“The future of Europe: challenges, opportunities and instruments derived from new treaties") from five different perspective: tasks and objectives, rights, tools, borders and perspectives.

In the Plenary Debate that took place in the European Parliament on Friday’s evening, the work groups presented their respective reports on the results of their debate.

The possibility of making the Agora a permanent space for debate between the European Parliament and the civil society was mentioned in the reports. It was also emphasized the necessity to solve the lack of information flow between the communitarian institutions and the citizens, as well as to approach, from a more "human" perspective, certain policies related to the battle against discrimination or political asylum. It was also urged that the European Union assumes international leadership in the promotion of peace, development and the fight against corruption.

In addition to the above, the participants stressed the necessity to establish clear norms for the new treaties ratification process and considered that the communitarian borders should not be immutable and inflexible. The importance of including a gender perspective in the European Union was also emphasized, as well as reinforcing the Union’s performance capacity in foreign affaires issues and globally promoting European values like democracy, tolerance, respect for diversity or freedom of conscience and religion.

The president of AFAEMME, Mrs. Mª Helena de Felipe Lehtonen, in the Citizen’s Agora Forum in the European Parliament.