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: