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EVERYONE'S A CITIZEN BABY - A People's EU Constitution

EVERYONE'S A CITIZEN BABY is a project in which artists, lawyers, people of the (direct) democracy movement and "ordinary" citizens develop an alternative EU Constitution.

What is a Constitution?

What does being a European mean, or, narrowed down to the EU, what does being an "EUan" mean?
What does being a citizen mean?

The rewriting of the EU Constitution is conceived as a tool to design an experimental society within the geographical location known as 'Europe'.

A Constitution can only be supported if it is also developed together with the citizens, and if we investigate how they see their - and we our - citizenship

These questions stretch out beyond the EU, for it is also relevant and instructive to know how, for example, a Chinese person perceives the EU, or whether a Surinam person feels him/herself connected to the EU too. This is why our project covers the EU and beyond. The project consequently also implicitly contributes to general emancipation in the world. When people are presented an alternative EU Constitution, and are being requested to bring in their suggestions for improvement, then this will also contribute to the sharpening of their opinion on the existing Constitution (whether it be their national Constitution or the EU Constitution proposal which is now under discussion) and to the consciousness that they can co-shape society. Society is that which we want it to be.

A first proposal of an alternative EU Constitution will be done by writing a new EU Constitution outline which: (1) is written in understandable language, (2) leaves out everything which has to do with streamlining of former Treaties, (3) increases democracy.

Then, along with a questionnaire in the shape of a computer game this alternative EU Constitution will be presented to the citizens. As the title already indicates - EVERYONE'S A CITIZEN BABY - there will be no distinction between "citizen" and "politician".

As part of our project we aim to publish our first draft People's EU Constitution simultaneously and integral in France and in The Netherlands in one daily newspaper and one weekly newspaper, a couple of weeks before the national referendums on the EU Constitution take place (France: May 29th, Netherlands: June 1st). We have already the interest of Newropeans-Magazine, a French European think-tank on democracy issues.

We estimate that this project will need at least two years to come to a good final constitutional document.

The project is a so-called crossover - it jumps back and forth between an art project and a political project. For culture, like citizenship, covers all domains.

Jeanne van Heeswijk is an internationally well-known Dutch artist. She has specialized in process and community oriented projects. In the context of the Arts Plan IJburg (near Amsterdam), Jeanne has a villa at her disposal for the next four years named "the Blue House" in which she hosts political artists and political art projects. Her "House for the Revolution" project is inspired by a.o. the Casa Azul of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. EVERYONE'S A CITIZEN BABY - A People's EU Constitution will be guest of the Blue House as long as needed and it will have its nerve center there. Part of Jeanne's Blue House project is a public letter exchange which all guests have with each other and with Jeanne. The letter exchange between EVERYONE'S A CITIZEN BABY and the Blue House will open with an intergral publication of the first version of the alternative EU Constitution.

The Blue House offers lodging for guests of EVERYONE'S A CITIZEN BABY and a start budget of 6,000 euros.

Mauricio Corbalán is an Argentinan architect who perceives the creation of communication structures to be architecture too. In collaboration with his partner in Buenos Aires he developes proposals for interface models - a questionnaire and a computer game - between the people and our proposal for a People's EU Constitution. In the report of one of our meetings it says: We think of sort of a computer game, with which mediators go to people in Europe and outside Europe. The computer game contains a questionnaire and a database where the answers are digested in such a way that it helps us to interpret all answers into one coherent document (the People's EU Constitution).

The interface between the people and the alternative EU Constitution links "personal" and open questions with "objective" questions. They should be phrased in such a way that people are also invited to tell their personal stories. The database linked to it (computer) should be modeled in such a way that connections of all sorts can be made. Images and other devices, that help people to make a connection with the questions, will also be developed

Mauricio is currently in Buenos Aires but will return to The Netherlands in April and will then be a guest of the Blue House.

Jan Willem Sap is a Dutch lawyer who teaches International Law at the Free University of Amsterdam. He wrote the very first version of the People's EU Constitution. Apart from a role of advizer and helping us in finding juridical assistance, Jan Willem will remain in the background.

Ken Kostyo is an American lawyer who lives in Amsterdam. He is an expert on sub-national constitutional law, and recently started a job at a newly to be developed news tv broadcast of the United Nations in Hilversum.

Jiri Polak was born a Czech and has now the Swedish nationality. Jiri is a political scientist and organizes 16-18 September 2005 in Prague a conference centered around the EVERYONE'S A CITIZEN BABY - A People's EU Constitution project and alternative citizen's participation projects. Jiri, Ken and myself are activists in the international direct democracy movement; that is to say we advocate binding referendums to improveme the current (indirect) democratic decision making structure.

Filia den Hollander is a Dutch visual artist and a democracy activist. The EU Constitution under discussion horrifies me for its consequence will be that citizens have only less say in their living environment. At the same time the momentum of an EU Constitution is exciting to me and I wish to poke my artist's nose and citizen's voice in this - that is, in as much as this is possible. Apart from overall coordination I will also digest at the Blue House nerve center all input to the People's EU Constitution.

Please edit the page or add comments re your constitution input. Or, email Filia directly here: FiHollander

Datum: April 10th, 2005


Nov 13 2005

I am suggesting into divideing into six different groups, the work and products of the groups.


1. Badly need a website with the EVERYONE'S A CITIZEN BABY
name up. This can be submitted to search engines so people can find it..
The site is the "hub" for requesting donations, providing info etc.

Bulletin Board Everyone's a Citizen Baby

2. Bulletin Board provides place for all to post ideas papers etc. Which won't
be "lost" in the shuffle.

Citizen Baby Blog http://www.blauwehuis.org/everyonesacitizenbaby/

3. Blog provides place for information, as well as comments.

WIKI Citizen Baby EU Constitution: EuropeanConstitution

4. WIKI Site where all citizens can post, change, suggest information
The WIKI is citizen action.

5. Everyone's a Citizen Baby EU Constitution Work Group
Here the members are writing the EU Constitution. Submissions
from the WIKI, blogs and bulletin boards are considered. It is not Public
The members can provide "press releases".

6. Everyone's a Citizen Baby Foundation
This is the "bank" for the Citizen Baby functions. It receives donations,
provides accountability, and funds necessary work.


Citizen Baby EU Constitution Blog

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