Uutinen 16.12.2003

Quo Vadis EU? – series of public discussion forums concerning EU´s forthcoming Conventional Treaty

Europe Information of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs arranged during autumn 2003 series of discussions open to public concerning EU`s forthcoming constitutional treaty.

The first ”Quo Vadis EU?” event took place on 10th of September in Lahti and the last one on 24th of November in Vaasa. At the whole Europe Information arranged 21 forums all over the country. In every Province there was at least one event.

The first introducer of each event was a representative of Finnish government or a person who had taken part to the work of the European Convention. After that the floor was given usually to Finnish member of European Parliament or member of national Parliament. After these addresses audience was given a change to make questions to the introducers.

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen opened the first forum in Lahti. Mr Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign affairs opened four event and Ms Paula Lehtomäki, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development opened three forums. Also Ms Liisa Hyssälä, Minister of Health and Social Services was introducer in one event.

The series of Quo Vadis EU? events was a success story. Over 2 100 citizens took part to the forums, so the average amount of audience was 100 person/event. There was a strong feeling that people are actively looking for information concerning reformation of EU and it´s fortcoming constitutional treaty.

In most cases people asked about a relation of Finnish Constitution to Conventional Treaty. Many questions concerned also the need for Referendum. More philosophical themes were also discussed, for instance ”Where is the ultimate boarders of Europe” or ”Is there genuine feeling of European identity” or ”What is the true meaning of Union Citizenship”.

List of events and summaries of discussions find in Finnish and Swedish on the European Information web pages. www.eurooppa-tiedotus.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=17446

Summaries in Finnish