Forum Charter - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Forum Charter

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The objectives and the ethics described below constitute the immutable Constituent Charter of the Forum. No person or institution can recommend itself from the Forum or claim the Forum “label” unless he, she or it complies with them scrupulously.

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  1. Objectives
    The Forum aims to help Chinese and European societies to become aware of the way in which they have long benefited from sharing their respective thinking and experiences, and to allow them to draw on these in order to undertake changes that are conducive to reaching a truly sustainable form of development;
    to allow the joint efforts of Chinese and European societies and the recognition of a shared heritage and common challenges to contribute to the development of a legitimate, democratic and efficient global community and global governance founded on dialog amongst major regional entities, with a view to ensuring a harmonious and peaceful development of the world in solidarity;
    and to generate further bilateral, plurilateral or multilateral dialog amongst regions of the world.
  2. Ethics
    Dialog shall reflect mutual respect; it shall extend beyond the traditional forms of diplomacy or economic trade; it shall mobilise, in a transparent and simple form, the best of each society’s own experience.
    Insofar as possible, dialog between the two societies shall call on persons and institutions that play or have played an active role in transforming their own society and have shown their interest in sharing their experiences to guide future developments.
    Analysis of the past shall never be intended to pass judgement on persons or civilisations, but to foster future developments.
    The Forum is not intended to replace the many existing co-operation schemes, each of which has its own raison d’être. It aims to become an area for dialog conducive to the emergence of new co-operation initiatives, which in turn would find their own ways to be implemented without expecting support from the Forum, for which this is not the vocation.
    The Forum shall not aim to build Chinese-European coalitions directed against third parties. On the contrary, it expects the sharing it instigates to be useful for other interregional or global discussions as well.
    Participants’ contributions within the Forum framework shall be personal and comply with privacy rules whenever necessary. The Forum shall not be a channel for expressing institutional points of view: there are other existing means for inter-institutional negotiations. When freedom of speech is incompatible with exercising institutional responsibility, the Forum shall give priority to those players who, thanks to their age in particular, have experience but are not submitted to the obligation of secrecy as per their current responsibilities.
    The Forum shall be pluralistic both in terms of the players invited to participate and of the philosophical, political or religious perspectives they represent.
    The Forum shall place special emphasis on an ethics of diversity and unity. All participants shall be willing to acknowledge their counterparts’ specificities. Yet together, they shall seek to manage, sustainably and in solidarity, the challenges faced in common by humanity.
  3. Working Procedures
    The aforementioned objectives and ethics comprise the immutable Constituent Charter of the Forum. Those who invoke it or lay claim to its “label” must comply with them rigorously.
    1. 3.1. Constituent Charter Guarantors
      In 2008, a group of nine founders, who were behind the Forum’s First Biennial Meeting, are the personal guarantors for compliance with this Constituent Charter by all Forum participants or organizers. In case of persistent disagreement amongst Forum participants or protagonists on whether or not there is breach of the Constituent Charter, this group of nine founders shall make the final decision.
      In case of resignation or decease of one of the founding members, the Guarantors Board is renewed through co-optation with a two-thirds majority.
    1. 3.2. Workshop Organisation
      The Forum is a continuous process of dialog between the Chinese and European societies in all their components and on every subject in which they have a common interest. To reach the twofold objective of diversity and unity, it is organised into socio-professional and theme-based workshops. These workshops rely, in China and in Europe, on persons and institutions who take on the responsibility of setting them up and facilitating them. Insofar as possible, implementation and development of the workshops is assumed on both sides by four pillars: local communities (geographic pillar), universities and research centres (intellectual pillar), society-based networks (social pillar), linguistic mediators and mediators in charge of communication between the two societies (media pillar).
      Every workshop is set up as fundamentally autonomous and benefits in all its actions from the Forum label and logo, expressly provided that it complies with the Constituent Charter’s objectives, ethics and working procedures.
    1. 3.3. Dialog between the two societies is punctuated by biennial meetings organised alternately in China and in Europe
      Organisation of these biennial meetings is directed by the society of the host country for the meeting, in consultation with the other party. These meetings aim to reinforce the visibility and impact of the dialog between the two societies, and to draw up common syntheses and perspectives for action. Follow-up to the biennial meetings is the subject of special attention as much in terms of optimising the impact of the preliminary documents and workshop findings, as in terms of following up on the new co-operation perspectives they might engender.
    2. 3.4. Unity of the Forum is based on using a set of common tools
      These tools, which guarantee the Forum’s consistency and long-term projection, are meant to evolve over time. They consist mainly of a common Web site in at least three languages (Chinese, English and French), common databases (persons, documents, methods, etc.), and facilitation and summarisation tools for the discussions and the workshops.
    3. 3.5. Seeking financial and institutional means for the Forum is everyone’s responsibility
      The initiators of the Forum feel they have some responsibility for seeking the means to perpetuate it, but this search is also everyone’s responsibility and, in particular, workshop organizers feel they have the responsibility for seeking institutional and financial means for the workshops.
    4. 3.6. The Forum is an initiative independent of Chinese and European authorities but calls for recognition, respect and support from public institutions
      The Forum is not an emanation of governments, public institutions or private companies. It is the product of numerous independent and convergent initiatives of different sectors of society. It is not defined as in opposition to but as complementary to the indispensable relations amongst public authorities or amongst companies. It offers a free and structured area of convergence for many different dialog initiatives.
    5. 3.7. Governance of the Forum is collective and designed to evolve over time
      A 2005 initiative of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind, which imagined the Forum, and of the Henry Fok Foundation, which hosted its First Biennial Meeting, the Forum is called to change, over the years, in the direction of a more collective governance in which all those – people and institutions – committing to supporting it over time will be able to contribute to setting its guidelines and action.