3 APRIL 2002

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Frendo launches Future of Europe website and online forum

Dr Michael Frendo, one of Malta’s members of the European Convention on the Future of Europe, has taken a personal initiative to launch a website and online interactive forum on the Future of Europe Convention, which is now officially named ‘The European Convention’.

The website has the easily remembered domain name of www.futureofeurope.info and is currently in Maltese, but an English version is expected to be finalised by the end of the week. Through the site, Michael Frendo will be providing information to the Maltese public in particular and to internet users in general on the European Convention and the issues it deals with. The site will also be reporting on developments in the Convention, which has already had its first meeting in March following its launch at the end of February. The Convention is expected to last until June 2003, when it will report on whether it has achieved consensus on reforming the constitutional basis of the European Union.

The website also contains an interactive forum where anyone can post his or her ideas on the future of Europe or on any other issue relating to the European Union.

Dr Frendo comments, "As a former Minister of Telecommunications who, in 1995, issued the first Internet Service Provider licences effectively launching internet usage in Malta, I am particularly pleased to be able to use the Internet as a means of communication with civil society and the public in general in my task as a member of the European Convention."

Dr Frendo launched the forum discussion with a number of questions relating to how to shape the future of Europe, Europe’s mission, European unity and the apportionment of powers between the Union and the nation-state and regions. He described the European Convention on the Future of Europe as, "A people’s convention in which representatives from the national parliaments, from the EU Institutions and from governments are shaping a new constitutional framework for Europe. The website‚s forum provides civil society with a very easy-to-use method to post messages and opinions. Used responsibly, it can be an important means for providing input to the future of Europe debate. I shall certainly take full note of the comments and views expressed by those using the Forum."

The website also has links to other sites and documentation including the Nice and Laeken Declarations, which form the basis for the European Convention representing a wide spectrum of national parliamentarian, EU institutional and governmental opinion.

The just over 100 members of the European Convention sit alphabetically by surname to further emphasis that, once appointed, they equally represent European opinion and express themselves in their own personal capacity.


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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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