Strong regions - Strong Europe

President of the Europa-Forum Wachau Martin Eichtinger presented a paper of demands from the public participation process to the EU Commission.

Brussels (19.3.2024) On the fringes of the Summit of Regions and Cities in Mons, Belgium, the demands paper from the Lower Austrian citizens' participation process of the Europa-Forum Wachau was presented by its President Martin Eichtinger to EU Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, Vasco Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions, and Albert Castellanos Maduell, President of the Assembly of European Regions.

The 27th Europa-Forum Wachau, entitled "Building a Resilient, Green and Competitive Europe", discussed the goals and ideas of the people of Lower Austria, which were collected as part of the citizen participation model of the Europa-Forum Wachau. Together with high-calibre guests from the worlds of politics, business, culture, media and diplomacy, key developments within the European Union were discussed and relevant European topics were addressed. The Wachau European Forum was particularly keen to consider the different perspectives and find a common European path for a resilient future for Europe. The process was scientifically supported by the University for Continuing Education Krems.

The Europa-Forum Wachau demands paper is divided into four core demands, which Lower Austria has submitted to the European Union as a mandate: "Guidelines for the development of Europe", "Security for a stable Europe", "Western Balkan countries as a perspective for Europe" and "Research and innovation as a driving force for Europe".

Quote from Martin Eichtinger:
"The Europa-Forum Wachau sees itself as a driving force and pioneer of the European unification process. If we want to maintain and secure our European model of life in the future, we need creativity, a wealth of ideas, innovation, courage and self-confidence. For several years now, the Europa-Forum Wachau Salons have been a forum for intensive dialogue with the citizens of Lower Austria on all important issues of European policy. The demands paper of the Europa-Forum Wachau is the result of this dialogue with the public and the debates of the guests at the annual forum. It reflects the desire of the people of Lower Austria to help determine the future course of Europe. The demands paper provides EU decision-makers with important feedback from the grassroots."

Quote Vasco Cordeiro:
"Europe only comes into being because cities and regions shape it. This summit not only marks the 30th anniversary of the European Committee of the Regions, but is also the moment when, for the first time, local and regional leaders from all continents come together to discuss global challenges and set out a vision for the future. More than ever, we are demonstrating that the role of regions and cities is key to strengthening democracy and tackling the challenges that affect people's lives around the world."

Quote from Apostolos Tzitzikostas:
"Cooperation between the regions is at the heart of an innovative European future. The European Committee of the Regions plays an indispensable role in this by acting as a catalyst for regional innovation and bringing the voice of the regions into the European dialogue. The Europa Forum Wachau complements this approach as a platform for the exchange of ideas and partnerships. Together we are shaping a future in which the diversity of our regions forms the basis for sustainable development and integration in Europe. The European Committee of the Regions and Europa Forum Wachau are jointly committed to a strong and influential role for the regions in the European vision."

Results of the public participation process
Wachau European Forum 2023