Carrying on a legacy of peacemaking

Jean Monnet Dialogues for peace and democracy

Old black and white photo of the exterior of the Jean Monnet house in Bazoches-sur-Gyonne, France

Jean Monnet house in France© European Union (1987) - European Parliament

Jean Monnet Dialogues for peace and democracy are often held at the historic Jean Monnet House in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France.
The Jean Monnet Dialogue for Peace and Democracy is an instrument developed by the European Parliament as a soft tool in the area of parliamentary mediation and dialogue.

With the Jean Monnet Dialogue, the European Parliament strengthens the ability of political leaders to develop true inter-party dialogue and to build the consensus necessary for generating a democratic parliamentary culture and trust.

The Dialogue complements traditional capacity-building programmes and contributes to institutional reform processes. It also provides a platform for political group leaders to seek consensus on national priority policies.


Historical connections

Named after one of the founders of the EU and a strong supporter of European Unity, the Jean Monnet Dialogue was launched in October 2016 at Monnet's own house in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne.

The house's location, far from the media and political spotlight of Brussels and national capitals, encourages political leaders to focus on reaching consensus, and on institutional reforms and key policies.

The Jean Monnet Dialogues often take place in this symbolic Maison Jean Monnet in Bazoches, but not exclusively. 


The process


The Jean Monnet Dialogue is a mediation and dialogue process.

The dialogue is inspired by Jean Monnet's working method and encourages pragmatic dialogue to achieve concrete, consensual results.

Parliament's Jean Monnet Dialogue is not a series of "single issue conferences". It is rather a process made of a cycle of preparatory consultations with political leaders leading to an in camera meeting with concrete outcomes and a follow-up on the commitments made during the dialogues.

The rules

An important precondition for success is the agreement of all parties involved regarding the topics to be discussed, the methodology and nine rules of engagement that govern the dialogue.

The nine rules are the following:
  1. Mediation principles will apply if needed.
  2. Every political party engages on equal terms.
  3. Zero is not an option.
  4. Nothing is ruled in or ruled out in advance.
  5. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
  6. No media communication until there is a concrete outcome.
  7. Pre-existing proposals, motions or draft laws should not be submitted.
  8. If there is a political agreement on a topic, a drafting methodology will apply.
  9. Any agreed common draft can then be submitted jointly by the parties.

Focusing on specific countries

Jean Monnet Dialogue methodology was used for the first time in the framework of the European Parliament's cooperation with the Ukrainian Parliament, Verkhovna Rada, in 2016 and is still going on today.

The methodology has been also successfully applied in support of the parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Following the elections to the European Parliament in 2019, the European Parliament, under its new composition, continues its support in the form of Jean Monnet Dialogues to these two countries while extending this instrument to other priority countries in the EU Neighbourhood.

Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Ukrainian Parliament, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine


The process started in 2015 against the difficult backdrop of instability, conflict in the east of the country, a struggle against corruption and the need for wider institutional reforms.

Since then, several dialogues have been held in different locations, addressing issues ranging from the status of opposition, the reform of the committee structure, the  to the creation of an anti-corruption court, and resulted in consensus agreements that have been implemented in the Verkhovna Rada.

Background

1st Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: 27-29 October 2016

2nd Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: 18-19 April 2017

3rd Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: 22-24 November 2017

4th Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: 25-27 March 2018

5th Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: 11-13 October 2018

6th Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: 5-6 May 2019

7th Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: 28-30 November 2019

Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia, Sobranie

The Jean Monet Dialogue process was established with the parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Sobranie, with the support of the European Parliament, represented by MEPs Eduard Kukan, Knut Fleckenstein and Ivo Vajgl, who had been instrumental in mediating in the Pržino Agreement.

The Dialogue is therefore an important element of the EU's overall engagement in support of the country's membership process.

The first Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Sobranie took place on 18-19 May 2018 in Ohrid with two further rounds of dialogue on 22-23 June 2019 and on 31 January-1 February 2020 in Skopje.

The added value of the Jean Monnet Dialogues to the EU's overall Enlargement Strategy and efforts in the Western Balkans was recognised in the Strategy for the Western Balkans (2019 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy (COM(2019)260)), as well as in the European Parliament's Resolution of 24 October 2019 on 'Opening accession negotiation with North Macedonia and Albania'.

On 26 March 2020, the European Council finally endorsed the recommendation of the Council of Ministers and decided to open the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

This decision was welcome by the President of the European Parliament and the EP Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, David McAllister.

Background

1st Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Sobranie: 17-18 May 2018

2nd Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Sobranie: 22-23 June 2019

3rd Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Sobranie: 31 January-1 February 2020

Inter-Party Dialogue with the Serbian National Assembly, Narodna Skupština

Following an August 2019 fact-finding mission by former MEPs Eduard Kukan and Knut Fleckenstein to Belgrade, the Speaker of the Serbian National Assembly wrote to David McAllister, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, to ask for the European Parliament to mediate between the political parties inside the National Assembly. With the set-up of the new office holders in the European Parliament, MEPs Vladimír Bilčík (AFET Rapporteur) and Tanja Fajon (Delegation Chair) represented the EP in the mediation from November 2019.

The request came as a response to the deteriorating political atmosphere inside the Skupština, which was threatening to spill-over into greater instability and the boycott by the opposition of the 2020 Parliamentary Elections. 

In line with the principles of the Jean Monnet Dialogue for Peace and Democracy, the European Parliament adapted the methodology to the specific conditions, political environment and needs of the Serbian Skupština and proposed an EP facilitated process of Inter-Party Dialogue to improve the parliamentary culture of dialogue.

The Inter-Party Dialogue includes two phases:

·        the first, launched in the Autumn 2019, focuseson improving political dialogue inside the Skupština and conditions for holding parliamentary elections;

·        the second phase, starting after the 2020 elections will support the improvement of the culture of consensus-building anddialogue inside the Assembly, including on reforms of the Rules of Procedure, the electoral framework and implementation of EU-related reforms.

The Inter-Party Dialogue was Chaired by Skupština's Speaker Maja Gojković, and facilitated by MEPs Vladimír Bilčík and Tanja Fajon together with former MEPs Eduard Kukan and Knut Fleckenstein.Three rounds of the Inter-Party Dialogue were held in Belgrade between October and December 2019.

1st Inter-Party Dialogue with the Narodna Skupština: 9-10 October 2019

Group photo of political party leaders at the Serbian National Assembly, meeting at a round table

Maja Gojković, Knut Fleckenstein and political party leaders and members at the Skupstina, @ European Parliament (2019)

The first Inter-Party Dialogue with the Serbian Narodna Skupština, co-chaired by Speaker Maja Gojković and former Member of the European Parliament Knut Fleckenstein took place on 9-10 October 2019 in Belgrade.

During the Dialogue, the parliamentary leadership together with the majority of political parties in the Skupstina and keynon-parliamentary political parties engaged in a constructive debate on measures to be taken to implement the EC Report and OSCE/ODIHR Recommendations for improving the conditions ahead of the parliamentary elections, foreseen for April 2020.

In parallel to this Dialogue, the Government's "Working Group on cooperation with Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)" issued its first recommendations, including for holding of an open consultation on the role and conduct ofthe Regulatory Authority of Electronic Media (REM).

The participants to the Inter-Party Dialogue welcome this initiative, but called for further steps and measures to be addressed before the next round of the Inter-Party Dialogue.

2nd Inter-Party Dialogue with the Narodna Skupština: 14-15 November 2019

3rd Inter-Party Dialogue with the Narodna Skupština: 12-13 December 2019

EP's assessment mission following the Inter-Party Dialogue with the Narodna Skupština: 6-7 February 2020