The principles of the CitizenGO Foundation
CitizenGO is a Spanish Foundation, registration number 1582, born from the experience and friendship of a group of people eager to serve society by ensuring that the dignity of the human person and the rights inherent to it are respected in all areas.
Working from a Christian perspective, we want to offer all citizens and organizations a tool to participate in the improvement of our society.
We believe that man is a rational being (intelligent), free (responsible for his actions), moral (capable of distinguishing good from evil), and created in the image of God. Thus, man is superior to the rest of the creation – of value in and of himself.
We acknowledge and demand respect for the dignity of human beings and for the rights derived from this dignity:
- A right to one’s life and its preservation, from the moment of conception to its natural end.
- A right to bodily integrity, safety, and health.
- A right for the individual human being, honor and reputation included, to be respected.
- A right to think, act or refrain from certain actions, following the dictates of one’s own conscience.
- A right to freedom of education.
- A right to the freedom of information.
- A right to assemble and join associations.
- A right to religious freedom and to honor God both privately and publically, individually and collectively, according to one’s own conscience.
- A right to marriage is understood as the union between one man and one woman and to the education of one’s children.
- A right to work, to economic initiative, and to the ownership of private property.
- A right to active participation in public life and to legal protection by the State.
Each of these rights generates associated responsibilities.
Man is social by nature and is in need of other people to develop and reach these natural aims, which he cannot achieve by himself. The family, born from the mutual commitment between a man and a woman, is the basic and natural unit of society. Authority is the moral power to manage public affairs. Its aim is to guarantee freedom and fundamental rights, ensure public order and promote the common good (i.e. the necessary conditions to meet the material and spiritual needs of the men and women that make up a community). Authority must be submitted to ethics in its exercise of power.
We believe that political authorities and economic agents must promote an economy that serves the individual. Society and the State must remove all obstacles to ensure that everybody can adequately earn a living that will allow them to maintain their family – the core of the social fabric – in a dignified manner.
We understand that a company has a responsibility toward the society in which it carries out its activity. Respect for ethical principles, the employees, the community, and the environment must be a part of the business strategy of any company. A sense of responsibility and solidarity toward future generations compels us to protect our natural environment locally, regionally, and globally, and to adopt the necessary measures to achieve that goal.
The mass media, essential for social development, guarantee the public’s right to information. We ask them to be free, truthful, and respectful of the dignity of the individual. They likewise must be responsible because they offer life and behavior models to all citizens.
These are the basic principles of social order: solidarity and subsidiarity.
- Solidarity makes all of us responsible for our fellow citizens, with a preference for those who are less favored. This principle should be the inspiration behind the relationship between different social groups, the local, national, and international communities.
- Subsidiarity requires that the different strata that make up a society (family, town, schools and professional associations, companies, educational communities, universities, unions, associations, etc.) carry forward their initiative freely and in a responsible manner. The State and the Administration must not interfere in the work of society unless it is to aid it and only when strictly necessary.
Because man is a rational and free being who can decide for himself, we look at his participation in public life as a fundamental right for the building up of a society. The right and duty to participate springs up from the following principles, amongst others: (i) Society comes before the State; (ii) Politics are essentially a vocation to service; and (iii) Rulers have the obligation to pay heed to those over whom they rule.
Public participation cannot be limited to voting ever so often. Associations, the mass media, and political parties must be a channel for citizen participation in public life. CitizenGO has taken upon itself the responsibility to foster citizen participation. We believe this to be the best way to recover the dignity of the “res publica,” and to allow our democracy to become a participatory one during the period between electoral campaigns. It is necessary to open new roads for citizens to participate so that politicians and institutions will be truly inclined to be at the service of society. Internet and information technology are also privileged tools to achieve this goal.
We offer these principles to the whole of society as a proposal, not as an imposition, because we believe them to be positive and effective means of improving coexistence in our current system.
Madrid, September 2013