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Online citizens' dialogue: Better together in the center of Europe


The current living together in the border area Saxony, Poland, Czech Republic was discussed by Anna Cavazzini, MEP, and Marek Prawda, European Commission. The necessity of bilateral relations and the current situation in Poland were central topics.

To mark the start of the German Council Presidency, on July 2, around 50 participants discussed the current coexistence in the common border region of Saxony, Poland and the Czech Republic in the center of Europe in an online citizens' dialog under the motto "#BetterTogether in the center of Europe? As experts, MEP Anna Cavazzini and Dr. Marek Prawda, representative of the European Commission in Poland, answered the many questions asked in the chat and in person.

As essential for a better coexistence in the European border area is the willingness to listen to the other", said Prawda. He described the typical borderland mentality with an image: "sitting on the bench would always leave room for the neighbor." This mentality, he said, is a good basis for European cohesion.

Both experts agreed that good bilateral relations are important for European cohesion, but not enough for growing together. The guiding principle should be the question of what can be done together to move the community forward together. Cavazzini explained this using the Turów open-cast lignite mine: the coal regions in the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany should be understood as a common space that could then be jointly developed into a European exit region.

Asked about the impact of Brexit on Poland, Prawda held that Brexit was not a good deal for anyone, neither for the British, nor for the EU, nor for Poland. In doing so, he appealed to his compatriots that a country does not become more important just because another country leaves. One acquires political weight by participating and being part of the solution.

The development and current state of the rule of law in Poland was described by Thomas Guddat, Chairman of the German-Polish Judges Association. As a result of the discussion, everyone agreed on the need to link European budgetary and funding resources to compliance with the rule of law.

"In the debate about the future of Europe, it's like 1001 nights" said the state chair Katharina Wolf, "how the story continues, you will only find out at the next event!" With the thanks for the congratulations to the fifth anniversary of the national association she connected the invitation to the anniversary meeting, which is planned as a presence meeting together with the new Saxonian Europe Minister.

The online citizens' dialog was moderated by Christine Oymann. It is part of the nationwide citizens' dialogue series "Europe - We need to talk!" organized by the non-partisan Europa Union Germany with a variety of partners from politics and civil society. The event on July 2 was held in cooperation with the Europa-Union Saxony, Young European Federalists Saxony, the Saxon Europe Information Centers (EDICs) and the city of Dresden. For more events in the series, visit Information on the German EU Council Presidency is available on the German government's website

Team & authors

About the Civil Dialogues project: Citizens talk to experts and politicians in independent, objective and open-ended discussions. The goal is to participate in the European project and to critically and constructively participate in the current discourse.

Image copyright: Unsplash, Europa-Union