Wir sind Europa!
Senate Department for Culture and Europe, City of Berlin
European Committee of the Regions
Regarding this project, we are in contact with Dr. G. Woop (State Secretary for European Affairs, City of Berlin), S. Gebel (Berlin City Parliament), K.H. Lambertz (President COR) and MEPs (E. Brok)
The Urban Agenda, launched by the European Commission, seeks to improve the quality of life in urban areas. As honourful as it is, it does not address the responsibility of cities for the success of Europe and it’s a mecanism from top down. We want to create an own “Urban Agenda of the Cities and Regions”, formulated by the cities and their citizens themselves, according to the bottom-up principle.
Together with other European cities, we - as a joint network of journalists, students and cultural actors from the project “Wir sind Europa” - want to give a specific example how to activate citizens, cities and regions of Europe to act as co-responsible producers of the European project.
A by the cities formulated European Urban Agenda would be a valuable sign of a Europe from below. To support the implementation of the Urban Agenda, especially in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions, we develop networks to define and enforce the Urban Agenda’s suggestions.
Our starting point is the Commission’s Urban Agenda. Until now, the participatory competence of the cities and regions in the European Integration Process is not yet included. In cooperation with the parliament and the government of Berlin we will implement further working groups. Our co-operation with the President of the Committee of the Regions has already begun and will be further expanded.
We are convinced that Europe from the bottom up needs to be more involved in the unification process. We think that Culture is an important element in European activity and must play a major role in relation to the urban agenda developed by the cities themselves.
We seek to support the Urban Agenda, but also to further develop it tailored to the citizens, cities and regions, from the bottom-up. We have addressed the Government and Parliament of Berlin and held initial discussions with Berlin based MEPs and the Committee of the Regions.
We offer our many years of experience and are interested in the experiences of others. The experiences and contributions of the other participants should help us to consolidate and expand our Europe-wide cooperation network of cities and companies.