Do our closest officials know about Brussels? Are they aware of the latest developments in the European Union? Does my local government know which upcoming decisions in the EU parliament might effect my municipality? Do my representatives take the opportunity to influence these and do they share expertise on European level ?
We´ve just learned about a fence breaking initiative by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) that leads me to one answer to above questions: yes!
In 2010 the BMEIA has started the platform „Europa-Gemeinderäte“ („Euro-officials“). All municipalities are invited to nominate a representative that is then provided with extra information and a whole bunch of networking opportunities.
The concept is clear: empathy – my favorite value right after freedom – creates added value. I wonder if similar projects are going on all over Europe. Imagine Euro-officials from all over networking on a basis of municipalities. This could lead to bottom up policies and to a kind of cooperation and compliance that good old Europe has never seen before. Imagine our local representatives sharing our ideas, our experience and our concerns and find out what is in common and what is unique.
Communication inside Europeleads to insight!