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The FPH and CFE

The Charles Léopold Mayer Foun­da­tion for the Progress of Humankind (FPH) is an inde­pen­dent foun­da­tion under Swiss law with per­ma­nent teams in Paris and Lau­sanne. It was launched in 1982 to finance, through dona­tions or loans, research and ini­tia­tives that con­tribute in a sig­nif­i­cant and inno­v­a­tive way to the progress of humankind through sci­ence and social devel­op­ment. Its cur­rent pri­or­i­ties, as defined in its guide­lines, are:

  • To sup­port the emer­gence of a world com­mu­nity, as made indis­pens­able by globalisation
  • To con­tribute to three major changes that humankind must make in the course of the 21st century:

- a rev­o­lu­tion in gov­er­nance in order to man­age the new inter­de­pen­dence between human beings, between soci­eties, and between human­ity and the biosphere;

- the search for a uni­ver­sal ethic of responsibility;

- the cre­ation of a sus­tain­able society.

Together with a vast inter­na­tional net­work of local or dis­tant, reg­u­lar or occa­sional part­ners, the foun­da­tions’ bod­ies act accord­ing to a coor­di­nated strat­egy rather than fund­ing a col­lec­tion of sin­gle initiatives.

Since 2007 the FPH has sought to cre­ate a pro­gramme on Euro­pean regional inte­gra­tion from a civil soci­ety per­spec­tive. The basis for this being that:

  • Europe, the Euro­pean Union, is still a basi­cally inter­gov­ern­men­tal affair
  • One could speak of a lack of legit­i­macy due to:

- an uncer­tainty regard­ing civic roles and par­tic­i­pa­tion within the community;

- doubt regard­ing the finan­cial and eco­nomic cri­sis, gen­er­at­ing the ques­tion­ing of sol­i­dar­ity among Mem­ber States, and of the polit­i­cal sys­tem towards its citizens;

- an uncer­tainty about the role and capac­ity of the Union within itself, as regards the new bud­get period 2013 – 2020 or the Bel­gian gov­ern­men­tal cri­sis, as well as within inter­na­tional processes such as the Rio +20 summit.

  • A mul­ti­tude of cre­ative and diverse civil soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions and ini­tia­tives are pro­vid­ing tools of dia­logue, pro­pos­als and pleas across Europe that raise ques­tions regarding:

- their legit­i­macy and par­tic­i­pa­tion within the rep­re­sen­ta­tive democracy;

- the exist­ing and miss­ing links and syn­er­gies between them;

- their vis­i­bil­ity in the (Euro­pean) polit­i­cal sphere.

Our approach implies three lev­els of actors influ­enc­ing the demo­c­ra­tic decision-making process: civil soci­ety (organ­i­sa­tions), polit­i­cal insti­tu­tions (espe­cially the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment), and the media.

The FPH sup­ports the civil soci­ety project Cit­i­zens for Europe (CFE).

Citizensforeurope.eu is an open forum, ded­i­cated to Euro­pean civil soci­ety. It lists and high­lights cit­i­zen organ­i­sa­tions and move­ments, their events and their pro­pos­als. It is a dynamic plat­form that strives to be both crit­i­cal and con­struc­tive. It aims to give a voice to mem­bers of Euro­pean civil soci­ety, help them to con­nect and form alliances, to have raise their pro­file in the media and carry more weight when deal­ing with polit­i­cal decision-makers.

The web­site is geared around three areas: Link­ing Europe, which lists and describes organ­i­sa­tions of Euro­pean civil soci­ety, Citizen’s Agenda list­ing their events (in which we are invited to par­tic­i­pate) and Shak­ing Europe which fea­tures their pro­pos­als to fur­ther mat­ters of gen­eral inter­est across Europe.

As an ini­tia­tive of Charles Léopold Mayer Foun­da­tion for Human Progress (FPH -www.fph.ch), citizensforeurope.eu is a joint effort with Dou­ble Ponc­tu­a­tion (www.double-ponctuation.com) and the Euro­pean Move­ment Inter­na­tional (EMIwww.europeanmovement.eu).

Citizensforeurope.eu’s part­ners work to strengthen fed­eral power, the only way to truly inte­grate all our diver­sity while main­tain­ing our power to decide, act and take ini­tia­tives. The part­ners are also uni­fied by their belief that Euro­pean rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy must draw strength from and be founded on the many var­ied forms of par­tic­i­pa­tive democ­racy, where the cit­i­zen, cit­i­zen organ­i­sa­tions and all of civil soci­ety can fully voice their opin­ions. As part of their fed­eral, demo­c­ra­tic and human­ist con­vic­tions, citizensforeurope.eu’s part­ners believe that the web­site should be above all a space for dia­logue, debate and synergy.

Europe – amid global, cli­matic and eco­nomic tur­moil, is still look­ing for its iden­tity and can­not be cer­tain of its future with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of its cit­i­zens. Citizensforeurope.eu believes in this par­tic­i­pa­tion and sees it as a necessity.