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czwartek, sierpnia 11, 2005

Poles need to join Plan D

Poles need to join Plan D

News Poland
in from European Citizen Action Service

Following referenda results in France and the Netherlands, the European Council has called for a 'period of reflection to enable a broad debate to take place in each of our countries, involving citizens, civil society, social partners, national parliaments and political parties.' What they did not say is how to organise this debate!

ECAS is collecting opinions from all willing contributors. Through the questionnaire we have already received very interesting propositions on how to organize the debate, what it should be about, possible actors and their respective roles.

Most believe a bottom up approach can best channel people’s views and ideas. That implies local authorities and civil society to lead while the European Institutions would have an enabling role. A European forum could be created in regions. A new Convention could be elected. What do you think?

It is in this spirit that ECAS launches the Hotline. We invite you to fill up the questionnaire and give us your insights and opinions on the future of Europe.

Results will be examined and explored to produce a report which will be submitted to the EU Institutions in early September.

Source: Read the Press Release (small Word doc)

View: I don't know how much exposure this issue is getting in Poland's MSM (mainstream media), but I haven't heard anything that would inform Poles about this new project to gather EU citizen opinions and attitudes about issues such as immigration and the EU Constitution. The ECAS organization is launching this Hotline as a way to measure what EU citizens think is the best way to talk about (to Debate) the hot issues in Europe. Another report from ECAS reveals a perception/reality gap on the issue of enlargement and fear of an immigration deluge Westward -- in fact, free movement of citizens from new to older member states is reported to be under 1%.

You can read the report summary and actually answer a survey to help them fill in the information gaps they have on newer countries regarding migration. After the 'Polish Plumber' story and how it may have influenced the 'no' vote in France and Netherlands, it's important that Poles register their voices in this ongoing and developing debate. But as usual most Poles seem apathetic to this -- it might have something to do with all the billboards mushrooming around Warsaw with Polish politicians and their families begging us for their vote (Did you see the billboard on Lech Kaczyñski? A little scary -- but obviously communicating its message nicely)

*Editor's note: A useful summary of the topic (with good reportage on Poland) can be found on EUobserver.com ---> HERE

UPDATE: I sent a letter to ECAS and received the attached response. Apparently, Poland is one of their targets (read bold print below) -- but will Poles be interested enough?

Dear Jordan,

Let me first thank you for your interest and support. It is especially important to us to promote the phone number and the email of the hotline in Poland, as Polish citizens are amongst the ones to use the most their rights to free movement. They thus encounter a greater amount of problems, and can make good use of the hotline service. During last year’s hotline, we received a large majority of Polish cases and questions. We strongly hope to continue to provide this legal advice service to Polish citizens.

If you could send the report and the press release to any of your contacts within interested organizations, the media, public administrations, experts, etc, that would be the best way to contribute to this initiative. The aim is to promote access to the hotline by putting forward the phone number and the email address.

The hotline has started yesterday, Thursday 11th August, and we have a small month to gather the maximum of questions and cases to present those to the European Parliament on 6 September.

Don’t hesitate to contact me directly. Here is my mobile number: 0032 474 77 99 64. Many thanks for your support, it means a lot to us.

Caroline Gonthier
Press Officer
Prince Royal 83
B-1000 Brussels
Tel: 02 548 98 23
Fax: 02 511 90 87
Email: c.gonthier@ecas.org

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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