[Translate to English:] Alter Rathaussaal Passau
© Joschija Bauer

, EU CITIZENS' DIALOGUE: Europe on an equal footing: EU citizens' dialogue in Passau

A citizens' dialogue recently held in the southeastern German town of Passau gave citizens a forum in which they could debate issues with members of the European Parliament, mayors and Martin Selmayr, the Secretary-General of the European Commission. Citizens of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic were invited to discuss questions on European social and refugee policies as well as living together in the Danube-Vltava border region.

It was a whirring jumble of languages and voices beneath the opulently decorated domes, massive columns and baroque paintings. At first glance, casual observers might be led to think that they had gotten lost at Hogwarts, the mysterious school of magic of Harry Potter. But, in reality, the setting was the magnificent assembly room in the town hall of Passau. And rather than being about magic spells, the conversations focused on tangible EU issues, such as: Where should things go from here in terms of EU refugee policies? And how can cross-border cooperation between cities and municipalities be better organized?

PICTURE GALLERY EU CITIZENS` DIALOGUE

To answer these and other questions, we invited 120 citizens from Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria to the three-river city of Passau, where we organized an EU citizens' dialogue in partnership with the European Commission. Participants were invited after being chosen by a process of random selection in order to cover as wide a spectrum of people and backgrounds as possible. As a result, sitting shoulder to shoulder was a colorful mixture of secondary school students and seniors as well as Germans, Austrians and Czechs. The oldest participant was a 91-year-old resident of Passau who was born in Bohemia – a true European. In order for the multilingual discussions to lead to understanding rather than language-related confusion, more than 12 interpreters had to work hard to provide simultaneous translations of the de-bates at each of the 12 tables. It was a Herculean task that was meant to pay off.

Shortvideo: EU Citizens' Dialogue in Passau

Video: EU Citizens' Dialogue in Passau

Krátké video
Dialog občanů EU v Pasově

Evropská komise a my jsme uspořádali 6.12.2018 v Pasově inovativní evropský dialog občanů. Sto dvacet náhodně vybraných občanů České republiky, Rakouska a Německa diskutovalo o budoucnosti Evropy.

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