Global Land Paths

Federalist Responses to Global Challenges

30 July – 4 August 2016, Vitsa, Epirus


We, the participants in the third Global Land Paths (GLAP III) seminar, held at Vitsa, under the auspices of The Land Beyond and the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS), from 30 July to 4 August 2016,

  • having shared in freedom and mutual respect our knowledge and views on the topic “Federalist responses to global challenges”;
  • inspired by the beautiful nature of the Northern Pindos National Park;
  • conscious of the critical period that the world has entered, with insecurity and tensions increasing along economic, cultural and religious fault lines, armed conflicts and terrorist acts, finance disconnected from the real economy, increasing inequalities and a planet under severe ecological pressure; and
  • building on the outcome of the previous GLAP seminars;

agreed on the following key points of reflection for action:

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, expressed by Gandhi and other visionaries, still offers the only chance for humanity to get over war, disease and disaster, including ecological catastrophe; it should be pursued systematically, with evolutionary building blocks, through initiatives such as a UN Parliamentary Assembly and global disarmament, by having the long-overdue review of the UN Charter towards democratising the United Nations;

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.

Vitsa, 3 August 2016

Global Land Paths (GLAP) is a joint project of
The Land Beyond and the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability. The objective of GLAP is to explore ways of building global citizenship in consciousness and in action, and of using it to address today’s impasses in democratic governance, sustainability, peace and security. GLAP brings together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners for a week of peripatetic discussions, immersion in thinking and in nature, and mutual inspiration.