12th Central European Round Table (2016)

The 12th CERT since 2005 took place from 20th to 22nd October 2016 in Vienna and was attended by participants from 12 countries and from Brussels-based organizations.

The PROGRAMME:
12th Central European Round Table 2016 – Programme FINAL

The PARTICIPANTS:
12th-cert-vienna-2016-list-of-participants-final


DOWNLOADS :

Guide to EU Funding on Migration and Asylum  (GEF and Greens/EFA Group, 2016):
the_guide_to_eu_funding_on_migration_and_asylum

Presentation Czech Greens:
12th-cert-presentation-czech-greens-overview-october-2016

Presentation Prague, district 15:
12th-cert-presentation-prague-district-15-october-2016

Presentation Za Grad, Zagreb:
12th-cert-presentation-za-grad-zagreb-october-2016

Presentation Budapest, district XIV (PM-Dialogue for Hungary):
12th-cert-presentation-budapest-zuglo-rebeka-szabo-pm

Presentation Die Grünen Währing (Vienna, district 18):
12th-cert-presentation-green-district-waehring-october-2016

Presentation “Bečka Grupa”, Vienna:
12th-cert-presentation-becka-grupa-vienna-october-2016

Presentation ENGS (European Network of Green Seniors):
12th-cert-presentation-engs-october-2016

Presentation Pam Bartlett-Quintanilla (Working group “Transparency & Democracy” of Greens/EFA Group in the EP):
12th-cert-presentation-pam-bartlett-transparency-and-democracy-work-plan-october-2016

Presentation Markus Trilling (CAN-Climate Action Network Europe):
12th-cert-presentation-markus-trilling-subsidiarity-in-eu-funding-october-2016

 

PHOTOS FROM THE 12th CERT
(by Doris Pilz and Gerhard Jordan)

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Thursday, October 20th, 2016:  Andreas Novy (Grüne Bildungswerkstatt/Austrian Green Foundation) welcoming.

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Public discussion “Contested Democracy”:  Introduction by Monika Vana (MEP, Austria).

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Keynote speech by Ivan Krastev (political scientist, IWM-Institute for Human Seciences, Austria/Bulgaria).

In his input, Ivan Krastev developed theses about the crisis of democracy that Europe is facing today:
In some countries where the population used to share exceptionally pro-European attitudes – like Poland or Hungary – we see more and more governments/ruling parties that are not changing any more after elections (Montenegro – with the same ruling party since 1994 – so far had been an exceptional case) and whose methods of governing are becoming increasingly authoritarian. Right-wing populist parties manage to attract particularly young voters.
With migration as a new option, the motivation to change political conditions gets lost:  it is much easier to change your residence country than actively contributing to get the government voted out of office.
While values like rule of law and press freedom of had to be fought for and won in 1989, nowadays they are losing attraction – instead the concept of  “ethnic homogeneity” and various conspiracy theories become more and more popular.

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Liljana Popovska, MP of the Green Party DOM (Democratic Renewal of Macedonia).

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Panel from left to right:  Merima Mujanović (Naša Stranka, Sarajevo/Bosnia-Herzegovina), Monika Vana (MEP, Austria), István Ferenczi (LMP-Politics can be different, local councilor in the 19th district of Budapest), Liljana Popovska (MP, Macedonia).

In the reactions to Karstev’s theses from the panel and in the discussion with the audience, the importance of the local level, of an “encouraging message” and of a credible policy of the European Union (for instance when dealing with non-member states), was stressed. Aspects like the “generation change” since the fall of the “iron courtain” and the role of internet and social media were addressed, too.

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Audience during the discussion. For the first time, participants from ALL countries of former Yugoslavia were present, plus Greens from Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and from Brussels-based international organizations.

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“Graphic recording” by artist Veronika Götz.

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Panelists and organizers, from left to right:  Ivan Krastev, Merima Mujanović, Monika Vana, Andreas Novy, Liljana Popovska, Gerhard Jordan, István Ferenczi.

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Friday, October 21st:  Monika Vana welcoming.

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MEPs from Central Europe introducing their work.  Panel from left to right: Tamás Meszerics (MEP, Hungary – LMP-Politics can be different), Nada Zerzer (moderator, Die Grünen Vienna), Igor Šoltes (MEP, Slovenia) and Davor Škrlec (MEP, Croatia).

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Igor Šoltes (Slovenia) and Davor Škrlec (Croatia).

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Ulrike Lunacek, MEP (Die Grünen Austria) and Vice President of the European Parliament speaking about authoritarian tendencies in Europe and the Green demand for a regular monitoring of standards like rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of press in ALL EU member states, not only candidate countries.

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Discussion.

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Rosi Macher (Grüne Bildungswerkstatt, Austria) with questions to be discussed.

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MEPs responding to the questions.

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Workshop by the “Baltic to Balkans” Working Group in the Greens/EFA fraction.

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Robert Godina (Adviser of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament) formulating theses on campaigning.

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Vesna Jusup (office of the EGP-European Green Party, Brussels) presenting questions on party structures and their performance – part 1.

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Presentation  by Marcel Kneuer (spokesperson of the Green Group in the district council of Währing, the 18th district of Vienna).

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In Währing, Die Grünen became strongest party in the local election of October 2015, thus gaining the position of District Mayor from the conservative ÖVP that had ruled there for 70 years.

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Participants of the 12th CERT starting their excursion to Währing.

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Discussion in Café Schopenhauer:  Gerhard Jordan (local assistant of MEP Monika Vana and local councilor in Vienna’s district 21) introducing Silvia Nossek, Green District Mayoress of Währing.

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Silvia Nossek explaining how Die Grünen managed to become “number 1” on district level.

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Start of the walk through Währing, led by local councilor Marcel Kneuer.

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Marcel Kneuer explaining difficult traffic solutions (in Währinger Strasse) and the importance of green spaces, recreational areas and playgrounds (in Währinger Park).

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In September 2016, Greens and Social Democrats implemented “parking management” (Parkraumbewirtschaftung) in Währing – for years, this has been blocked by the conservative District Mayor and was one of the main reasons why Die Grünen won the local election of 2015.  Now parking a car on public space is charged in the whole district. But residents can acquire a sticker (€ 90 per year) enabling them to park their car in the district without further fees. Thus, some cars disappeared in private garages (of those who didn’t buy the sticker), and some – belonging to commuters from other districts or from Lower Austria – did not enter Währing any more. The result is a re-gaining of free public space. While conservative ÖVP sealed the ground even in alleys in order to get more parking space for cars (see photo above: Colloredogasse in the so called “cottage”), Die Grünen now start to restore the green spaces (photo below).

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Marcel Kneuer at Hasenauerstrasse, the northern border of Währing. While in the Southern part of Cottagegasse, parking cars are to be found sporadically, in the northern part (in the background of the photo above) that belongs to the neighbouring district 19, Döbling – ruled by a conservative District Mayor since 1978 – public space is jammed by cars parking bumper to bumper.

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Dinner on Friday evening in the Restaurant “B-Mäx” in the 7th district, Neubau (ruled by a Green District Mayor since 2001).

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Saturday, October 22nd:  Introduction to the “networking day” by Monika Vana.

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Aleksandar Rudić and Emina Adamović presenting   “Bečka Grupa” (“Viennese Group”)  –  a working group of the “Green Migrants of Vienna” composed by Green activists and local councilors with “roots” in the countries of former Yugoslavia.

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One of the projects of “Bečka Grupa” is a film on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the so-called “Gastarbeiter” agreement that regulated the recruiting of workers from Yugoslavia in 1966. Retired workers from the “first generation” were interviewed together with their grandchildren (“third generation”).  People who came from former Yugoslavia are the largest group of migrants in Vienna.

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Workshop of the “Transparency & Democracy” working group in the Greens/EFA fraction:  Presentation by Markus Trilling from CAN-Climate Action Network Europe on Subsidiarity and Partnership in EU funding.

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Presentation by Pam Bartlett-Quintanilla (Greens/EFA Group in the EP) on the Green working plan on transparency and democracy and efforts by Greens in the EP to support and encourage “whistleblowers”.

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Discussion on transparency and participation, moderated by Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, municipal councilor in Vienna and Deputy Chairperson of the Committee for European and International Affairs.

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Strong input from Brussels:  Robert Godina, Markus Trilling, Monika Vana, Vesna Jusup and Pam Bartlett-Quintanilla (from left to right).

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Coffee breaks:  Good occasion for bilateral discussions and networking.

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Presentation  by Rebeka Szabó (PM-Dialogue for Hungary), Deputy Mayoress of Zugló, the 14th district of Budapest, about challenges and achievements there.
The left – including the Green party PM – won the local election of 2014, Gergely Karácsony (MP from 2010-14) became Mayor – elected by 42.53% – in this third-largest urban district of the capital.

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The photo in the background shows District Mayor Gergely Karácsony (PM) with Rebeka Szabó.

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Group photo of CERT participants in the courtyard of Lindengasse 40 (headquarters of Die Grünen Vienna), venue of the meeting on Friday and Saturday.

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“Spotlights” on networking:  Coordinator Žaklina Živković (Serbia) presenting past and forthcoming activities of the “Green Balkan Network” of the EGP.

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“Poster fair” and presentation of parties and “best practices”:  Ivan Velkov, municipal councilor in Sofia (where “Zelenite” gained their first seat in 2015) and co-chair of the Sofia municipal council.

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Luka Kerečin and Žana Barišić-Došen from the local list “Za Grad” in Zagreb (Croatia) presenting their campaign.  “Za Grad” first got local councilors elected in 6 out of 17 Zagreb districts in May 2013.  In the 2016 Parliamentary elections, a seat was missed by less than 0.2% in the central constituency of Zagreb.

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Presentation of the Czech Greens and of the Greens from district Prague-15.  In this district, there are two Green Deputy Mayors.

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Continuation of Friday’s workshop by Vesna Jusup, with 3 working groups.

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Vesna Jusup (EGP) summing up feedbacks from the parties and countries present.

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Feedback round, moderated by Rosi Macher (GBW-Grüne Bildungswerkstatt).

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Closing words and outlook to further activities by Monika Vana.