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GLAP V: Federalist Responses to Global Challenges, 30.07-04.08.2016

30 July – 4 August 2016

The third summer six days cosmopolitan peripatetic seminar, which took place at the land beyond in Vitsa, Epiros, Greece (National Park of Northern Pindos), 30.7-4.8.2016, building on the experience and outcome of the founding GLAP seminar (2-7.8.2014) and the GLAP II, on "Cosmopolitan consciousness and civic action in a globalized world" (25-30.7.2015), had the goal: to highlight the added value of federalism in organizing human community at, local, national, regional and global scale, in order to address and tackle the major problems and challenges which faces the world.

The topic of this year is inspired by the rising populism and nationalism in Europe and the USA, the renewed tension and proliferation of armed conflicts, the recent decisions in the UN, for a global sustainable development (SDGs) everywhere in the world and the historic decision of Paris to stem climate change. With this meeting we wanted especially to sensitize youth regarding new forms of political organization and participation, for a sustainable future for all.

A group of30 scholars, University professors and students, professionals working in the field, from diverse nationalities, religions, specialization and age, from the EU and NATO, the civil society and think tanks, the World Federalist Movement and the Union of European Federalists the media, international organizations, met during almost a week in this unique crossroad of thought, nature, spirit and inspiration.

In the resolution that we have adopted using collaborative tools, we stated that,

Sovereignty should not be used as a pretext for human rights abuses, fragmentation and war; true sovereignty, in terms of inviolability of its bearer, resides only with each individual person, citizen of the world; Federalism is not tantamount to and should not be associated with centralised government distant from the people; instead it is intrinsically connected with subsidiarity, that is the principle of dealing with issues at the level of community organisation/government that is commensurate to the magnitude of the problem and as close to the citizens as possible; there are several successful examples of federal states that one can learn lessons from;

Global issues such as peace and security, climate change and human rights should be dealt with at the global level, which has to be adequately equipped, both in terms of democratic legitimacy and resources available;

The ideal of One World, still offers the only chance for humanity to get over war, disease and disaster, including ecological catastrophe. It should be pursued systematically, through initiatives such as a UN Parliamentary Assembly and global disarmament.

The European Union has been for decades a model of regional integration, peace, prosperity and respect of the rights of its citizens, as well as a responsible development donor and multilateral partner; it is thus important that it overcomes its current problems and continues on the road of federal integration, for the sake of its citizens and the world.

Active citizens all over the world – being the lifeblood, ultimate decision-maker and legitimiser of actions taken in their name and for their benefit – need to engage at all levels of governance, ensuring trust, transparency and accountability.

We commit to do our part, individually and through organisations we work with and call on all fellow world citizens, who share our concerns about the huge challenges facing the world today and our assessment that federalism with legitimate local, national, regional and global governance as the best way to organise, to join us in this effort.

These are elements of a new narrative for the world in order to achieve well-being in peace, elements which we are determined to promote, though our life and work, in practice, every day, through the initiative of The Land Beyond and FOGGS, “Global Land Paths”, in order to create a critical mass in favor of the transition towards a new, balanced, federalist and compassionate political culture, towards a responsible global citizenship and sustainability for humanity and Mother Earth, without violence and war.

Click HERE to read the full-text of the Vitsa Declaration, GLAP III


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