On the 30th of June 2020 the Parliament of the Future presented their manifesto to European and Amsterdam representatives. In their manifesto they call upon the EU and the city to take actions now to safeguard a future in which fundamental rights are protected, the interests of future generations are taken into account, climate justice is realized and freedom is safeguarded in our increasingly digital world.
First, Vice President of the European Commission Dubravka Šuica received the manifesto. As European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography she is responsible for the novel program in participatory democracy called the ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’, which will run for two years gathering citizens input and giving them a say on what the EU does and how it works. From this position she called the Manifesto of the Parliament of the Future an impressive declaration and a wonderful opportunity for her to listen to the voices of the future. Within the ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ that is about to start, especially young people play an important role, and the Parliament of the Future is invited to further share the calls to action from manifesto in the context of the Conference.
Second, Amsterdam alderman of Social Affairs, Democratization and Diversity Rutger Groot Wassink shared his enthusiasm about the topics that are highlighted by the Manifesto. Many of the calls to action are related to democratization, for example the call to action to include the interests of future generations in local policy making. Rutger Groot Wassink told: “I find this concept of engaging future interests very interesting, because for many policy issues it would mean that the measurements you take are not that sustainable if you look at them from this perspective.” He invited the Parliament of the Future to help the city on how the focus on future generations could effectively influence local policy making in Amsterdam.
Thirdly, the Manifesto was received by Caroline Combé, senior advisor of the Amsterdam Omgevingsvisie 2050 (Strategy on Spatial Planning and the Environment 2050) and Bas Zwiers, community builder and coordinator of Vreedzaam Oost. Caroline Combé replied that the vision on spatial and environmental development of Amsterdam is very much in line with the calls to action from the Manifesto focusing on a healthy environment, green and pedestrian spaces, clean air as well as the call for climate action and justice. One way in which Amsterdam tries to implement these actions is through their program based on Kate Raworth’s Doughnut economics. One thing that stood out from the Manifesto which the Amsterdam vision could incorporate more is the intertwinement of the physical and the digital world and the idea that citizens should be involved more directly in developing the technologies that are used in the smart city.
Finally, Bas Zwiers hands over the Manifesto to the youth councils in the neighborhood who will decide which calls to action they would like to work on in the context of Amsterdam-East. A promising proposition from the manifesto is for example the call for every municipality to install delegates younger than 25 years who represent young and future generations and have a real seat at the table.
With its Manifesto the Parliament of the Future has made an important call to action for democracy on the European as well as the city level, urging policy makers to evaluate their decision making based on the interest of current as well as future generations.
The launch of the Manifesto can be re-watched via this link: https://youtu.be/W4lnhoWF4Vg
by spoken word artist Atta de Tolk
Welcome all, today we discussed the future as we co-design it
Clearly we don’t underestimate this assignment
40 participants discussing challenges that we are facing
in times like these, that alone is quite amazing
this was a moment to present the present and progress
a guide on how we will build along in this process
why is this manifesto so important to have?
It’s a chance to get these important subjects on the map
We want to be involved, don’t let it be dissolved
Exposing problems but working to get them solved
So this is what we need; a core to explore
Positive thinking but aiming to be realistic, so it’s not just a dream
Dreamchasers setting goals and flagging these themes
Subjects to conquest, challenges to face
Whether on or offline, we’re in the house, we’re at the place
We stand today focused on the days after tomorrow
To be well informed and prepared instead of left with sorrow
Fundamental rights, like fighting discrimination
In the base to get a better situation
Off course, with delegates from younger generations
Acknowledge what’s essential, it’s an inclusive operation
A future based on commons and democracy
We can’t be inclusive if there’s still structured exclusivity
So we need to invest in multi layered accessibility
Policy matters planned multifunctional reality
A future based on climate justice
Priorities: economic interests no longer have the majority
Of people chasing it rather than respecting climate policies
Free basic education, we all need to know
That greed is not a seed on which our future can grow
Sharing our knowledge as data in a tidal flow
When designing public technology, especially in ‘smart’ cities
Involve people to make them ‘big heart’ cities
This is not only a task for the government
But also for involved projects for empowerment
Democracy is having a hard time
People feel left behind
We need change in these changing times
There are jewels of ideas found in these young mental mines (minds)
Also listen to the vice-president of the EU and what her advice is
There are chances in every crisis
Demographic changes like aging societies can not be ignored
That’s why even more, there need to be more opened doors
What’s up, what’s new in the news? Is it transparent?
Is it choosing sides or being wise like our grandparents?
The future and manifesto is not about being left and right
It’s about what has gone left and what’s right
So political preferences? We don’t care
We care for it to be fair
20% percent of EU citizens is a child
we need to work to prevent our problems will pile
the manifesto exists, we need it promoted
we need to get out in the world and show it
present and express, show we’re devoted
only a constant repeated message gets noticed
for the future, young voices are important and relevant
this manifesto is sustainable evidence!
Even strategy experts are impressed with what we drafted
But off course, that’s what we already expected
The world going fast forward, it’s hard to comprehend
Stand above our differences to really understand
We really need Unity
Why do you think the letters U and I are in the word unity?
About Parliament of the Future
The Parliament of the Future is an initiative by Netwerk Democratie and is co-financed by the European Commission programme EU and ME.