European Year of Citizens

Under this motto, in 2013 the focus is on the individual rights of people in the EU. This includes active involvement in the political opinion-forming process at European level. Throughout the year “Citizens’ Dialogues” have been taking place across Europe on a wide variety of issues.

The European Union has declared 2013 the European Year of Citizens. Europe’s fundamental values, such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law, do not just apply to the EU member states. Each EU citizen is guaranteed individual liberties and rights under the EU treaties. Federal President Joachim Gauck said in his speech on Europe on 22 February 2013, “For me, more Europe means more European civil society.”

Throughout Europe and at local level: Citizens’ Dialogues and more

Every EU citizen is able to influence the shaping of political will at European level – by voting in elections, participating in Citizens’ Forums and taking part in public consultations on pieces of EU legislation. Only in this way, with the participation of the people in the EU, will European integration continue to be a success story.

The Federal Government, together with the Representations of the European Commission and the European Parliament in Germany, has issued an invitation to the next Citizens’ Dialogue on 30 January 2014 in Hamburg. This time the subject under discussion will be “Europe in the world”. Another event focusing on “The EU and data protection” is scheduled for 20 February. The idea of the Citizens’ Dialogue is for Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission and the Federal Government to field citizens’ questions on European policy.

Network European Movement Germany: You can contact the Network European Movement Germany by phoning +49 [0]30303 620180 or emailing eyc2013@netzwerk ebd.de.
You can also find plenty of up-to-date details on the Year of Citizens on Twitter at @NetzwerkEBD and under the hashtag #eyc2013.

Raising awareness of citizens’ rights

With its wide range of events, the Year of Citizens 2013 is intended to spotlight the rights of private citizens in Europe and to remind people of these rights. The concept of EU citizenship was introduced 20 years ago in the Maastricht Treaty. Since that time, many EU citizens’ rights have become a matter of course. Prime among these are the freedom to travel throughout Europe without border formalities, as well as the freedom to work or shop in other EU countries. Other rights and powers, such as the European Citizens’ Initiative, are less well known. These will be well publicised during the year.

Information on the European Citizens’ Initiative

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You can find further information and events connected with the European Year of Citizens at www.europa.eu

Last updated 28.11.2013

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