The Wheel welcomes report of the President's Ethics Initiative

The Wheel today welcomed the publication of the final report of the President’s Ethics Initiative. President Michael D. Higgins launched the report, On the Importance of Ethics: A Report on the President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiativeearlier today during an event at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Ivan Cooper, Director of Advocacy at The Wheel said: “We agree with the President's view that the Ethics Initiative marks the beginning of a wider process of building a ‘true republic’ in Ireland. The report launched today is an important milestone in this process. The Wheel and other civil society groups will continue to build on this work”.

President HigginsThe Wheel and other civil society groups played a key role in the second phase of the Ethics Initiative by facilitating a number of conversations across Ireland though the People’s Conversation project.

“We now live in a different Ireland, and Irish people have radically different expectations of the respective roles of the State, communities, and citizens. All of this raises questions about our attitude to citizenship and the state. How we can live together ethically? What does it mean to be a citizen of this republic? Do Irish people have a strong sense of their rights and responsibilities as citizens? What do citizens expect of the State and what is expected of citizens? How can citizens and communities play a greater role in shaping their future? These are some of these questions we will be exploring further”, said Mr Cooper.

The Wheel will meet with the President on Friday, 5 February to present him with the People Conversation’s report, “Citizens Rising”. The report is a response to and reflection on the various ideas, themes and aspirations that emerged during a vibrant and stimulating series of conversations over the past 12 months. The report sets out a framework for citizen empowerment based on five challenges:

1.       Increasing participation in public decision making

2.       Developing and nurturing active citizenship

3.       Building trust and respect

4.       Making citizenship global

5.       Resourcing and empowering citizens

The Wheel is currently engaging with policymakers and other stakeholders to explore how this framework can be progressed.

When the President spoke at The Wheel's annual conference in May 2015 he said: "The People’s Conversation has developed into a dynamic dialogue, engaging the imagination and the energy of citizens from across Ireland; people who have come together to envision a new version of citizenship, and to explore a new set of principles by which we might live ethically as a society”.

The People’s Conversation is a project of The Wheel, in partnership with the Carnegie UK Trust. For more information on the People’s Conversation see: www.peoplesconversation.ie