The European Jewish Union has announced that it plans to establish a European Jewish Parliament to bring together Jewish communities across Europe for the purpose of addressing concerns, ideas, beliefs and aspirations of European Jews toward European and world leaders. In a statement on its website, the union said the parliament would convene to "ensure that the interests of Jewish communities are included and properly represented in this new and exciting platform."
The European body announced that registration for the elections began August 15 via the Internet, and results of the elections would be made public this October.
The idea for a unified European Jewish Parliament was first proposed by President Shimon Peres several years ago. According to the union, such a parliament would seek to provide a "unified platform for debate, discussion and decision making," with its headquarters to be based in Brussels, where other general assemblies are also located.
The parliament's constitution is expected to be drafted in the first year after the elections by a committee formed of MPs. After a draft constitution is presented for debate and review, a vote will be held on it by the parliament's general assembly.
Election to the parliament will be open to all Jews residing in EU countries as well as in countries connected to the European Jewish Union's family, "regardless of political, religious or communal affiliations." The statement said that the parliament's framework would be based on a 120-member caucus and would include "representatives from all walks of life, including public figures, lay leaders, politicians, artists, writers, musicians, youth leaders and religious mentors," with their common thread being their Jewish identity.