In parallel with the Open Doors Day of all EU-institutions on 6 May, the CoR organised a citizens dialogue in the CoR premises with President Markkula and representatives of 5 grass-roots organisations. Under the headline "Listening (to) Europe, the debate with grass-roots organisations focussed on their experiences with citizens’ engagement and the way forward. In many EU countries, such initiatives developed at local, regional and even international level by holding events, initiating online discussions and bringing citizens and politicians together in local debates.
Ahead of this debate, the representatives of grass-roots organisation were invited by the President and the Secretary General to an informal breakfast in order to know each other better and to touch grounds exploring options for a cooperation with the CoR .
Following representatives of the grass-roots movements were present:
Daniel Röder, founder of Pulse of Europe, a citizens' movement founded in November 2016 with the aim to combat nationalist and Eurosceptical tendencies by supporting “a united, democratic Europe".
Benedikt Kau, co-founder of Why Europe? (on Twitter https://twitter.com/WhyEuropeORG) that uses on social media the communication techniques of populist movements in order to sell the EU achievements (so called "positive populism").
Barbara Aubin, content manager of the 1989 Generation Initiative which is partly a think-tank, partly an online movement made by young people for young people. The organisation is working on proposals to reform to EU that will be submitted in October 2017.
Richard Laub from Stand up for Europe which was born from a merger of 3 other groups and openly aims to federate the European federalists. The organisation has a numerous social media team, student branches in 10 universities and a community of over 100,000 people in facebook.
Katarzyna Mortoń from the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD) in Poland, a grass-roots movement founded in November 2015. It aims at protecting the rule of law, democracy and human rights, defending European values and strengthening civil society.
The meeting resulted in a substantial interest of above organisations for future cooperation and will be followed up.