Liberal Messages for Europe

The fifth workshop took place on 2nd of June at Belvedere Hotel in Cluj. The training team was composed of Ciprian Negoiță – moderator, Tudor Tim Ionescu – event organizer and Raimar Wagner – team coordinator. Regarding the game plan no significant changes has been made since all the previous events from Timisoara, Ploiesti and București and Constanța seem to work perfectly. Once again the team observed that all the activities described in the game plan are very well accepted by all the participants.

In the first part of the workshop the moderator started a debate on the challenges faced by the traditional parties and the rise of populist movements inside EU. Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Netherlands, Hungary and Poland were examples of countries where the populist messages were easily accepted integrated in their societies. Afterward, the moderator asked all the participants to identify and debated the problems in Romania that can be solved with the help of the EU and the role of Romania inside the Union. It seemed that 25 active and determined participants from different social and professional backgrounds continued to actively take part in these discussions. Looking closely at the list of attendance, we observed that all the participants were formally part of different social and professional sectors (high-school teachers and students, entrepreneurs, civil servants, engineers, veterinarians, managers, retired persons, legal advisers, foresters). The results were, to a certain extent, surprising.

More than 50% of the participants considered that Romanians are discriminated in EU and the political elites should be more sensitive concerning the topic of discrimination. Economic development and the rule of law were also on the list of preferences. Another interesting and intensive debate was on the topic of immigration. Even if almost all the participants had an opinion on the challenge posed by immigrants, in the end, after their answers written on the meta cards were collected and measured, it had shown that the theme was of little interest.

Following closely the instructions of the game plan, in the second part of the workshop the moderator explained the following relevant topics for the ALDE party: EU’s security and its relation with NATO, globalization and climate changes, digital era and globalization, free trade and the international commerce, EU budget, transport, infrastructure and mobility, human rights, economic and monetary policies and migration as a challenge and opportunity.

During this presentation, the participants seemed to present a higher interest only on two topics: free trade and the international commerce and EU budget. For this reason, the moderator decided to organize a spontaneous debate (world café). The discussions were very productive.

After the debate, the workshop continued with the voting process. The results were once again surprising. Almost all of the topics were considered relevant for the citizens of Cluj.

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