Maastricht and the Euregion Maas-Rijn as Europe’s workshop
In 2017, it will be 25 years since the signing of the Maastricht Treaty: the birth certificate of the European Union and the euro. The Europe Calling! programme wants to contribute to the dialogue about Europe.
The Maastricht Treaty 25th Anniversary programme will recount the exciting and turbulent history of Europe. It is a history which began optimistically with an early leitmotiv of new, seemingly unlimited opportunities. But it is also a history of solidarity under pressure, of financial and economic hardship, and of disagreement about Europe’s openness – a disagreement that the refugee crisis has once again put into sharp relief. It proves Europe needs constant upkeep – not solemnly by politicians and policymakers, but by citizens too. For if one thing, 2016 demonstrated that Europe requires permanent maintenance.
It is no accident of history the Treaty on the European Union was signed in Maastricht in 1992. Its situation on the national borders is precisely why people of this region think and act in cross-border terms, ‘connecting’ and ‘building bridges’. The Maastricht Treaty expanded the areas of policy competences of the EU, where among others, culture was introduced - "to encourage and support transnational activities, while respecting national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the common cultural heritage to the fore".
Citizen’s debates and Citizen’s Summit
As two of the goals of the Europe Calling! are greater involvement of the residents of the city and the (Eu)region in European issues and a stronger cross-border cooperation the Euregion Maas-Rijn and the Dutch Province of Limburg, the European Cultural Foundation, Network Democracy and the King Baudouin Foundation have jointly prepared a series of citizens debates.
These debates are meetings between citizens, politicians, policy-makers and local organisations, on topics participants have put forward via surveys.
- NL: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/burgerNL
- UK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/citizenUK
- DE: https://de.surveymonkey.com/r/buergerDE
- FR: https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/citoyenFR
The series of debates - regional discussion tables actually - take place in various towns of the Euregion:
Please note that all dates and locations will be confirmed soon.
- 21 January: Studentdebate in Maastricht (in English)
- 4 February: Debate in Liège (en Français)
- 11 February: Debate in Maastricht (in het Nederlands)
- 18 February: Debate in Genk (in het Nederlands)
- 18 February: Debate in Aachen (auf Deutsch)
The concluding Citizens Summit will consist of two days: On 22 April, thirty selected citizen participants from the series of debates will draft a Treaty of Maastricht by the Citizens of the Euregion while sailing on a boat from Maastricht to Liege. On 6 May, this Citizen Treaty of Maastricht will be presented at the Europe Calling! Citizens Summit, which is open for all audiences.