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19-02-2013

Brussels: Hearing on EU Citizenship

The EP committees on Petitions, Civil Liberties and Legal Affairs, together with the European Commission, are organising a hearing on "making the most of EU citizenship" to find practical solutions aimed at removing barriers faced by EU citizens while exercising their rights. Active on-line participation is welcome (#EUCITIZENS). Live reporting from the floor will be available through #PETI_EU and #EP_Justice Twitter accounts.

Making the most of EU citizenship

EU citizens still face obstacles when exercising their rights, notably their right to free movement. The EP committees on Petitions, Civil Liberties and Legal Affairs, together with the European Commission, are organising on Tuesday 19th February a hearing on "making the most of EU citizenship" to find practical solutions aimed at removing those barriers. The event, organised in the context of the European Year of Citizens 2013, will gather MEPs, petitioners, experts and representatives of the Commission, the Committee of the Regions and the civil society.

The hearing represents a timely opportunity to reflect with all actors concerned on concrete ways to strengthen EU citizenship in the context of the European Year of Citizens and in view of the EU Citizenship report that the Commission will present in May.

The Chairmen of the Petitions and Civil Liberties Committees, Erminia Mazzoni (EPP, IT) and Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), and the First Vice-Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee, Evelyn Regner (S&D, AT), will open the event at 9.45 (CET).

Discussants will look into issues that are at the centre of EU citizens' lives:

  • The first panel, entitled "Strengthening EU Citizenship", (10.30 -12.45 CET) will focus on remaining obstacles to EU citizens' rights as outlined in the Treaties, notably in cross border situations. The discussants will propose practical solutions to remove those barriers, looking towards the 2013 EU Citizenship Report. According to the 2013 Eurobarometer on EU citizenship, only one in four respondents said that they feel fairly or very well informed about what they can do when their rights as EU citizens are not respected.
  • The second panel "Fostering political participation of EU citizens" (14.45 -16.30 CET) will focus on EU citizens' political rights, with a view to the 2014 European Parliament elections. Participants will discuss the importance of EU citizens' participation in the democratic life of the EU, from the local to the European level, and will try to find ways to boost the European democratic process and the accountability of EU institutions.
  • Concluding remarks will be made at 16.30 CET by Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding.

MEPs taking part in the panels:

Philippe Boulland (EPP, FR) - Morning session moderator

Adina-Ioana Vălean (ALDE, RO), rapporteur for the 2010 EU Citizenship Report - Morning session discussant

Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (S&D, PL) - Morning session discussant

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, SE) - Morning session discussant

Antigoni Papadopoulou (S&D, CY), rapporteur for the European Year of Citizens 2013 - Afternoon session moderator

Heinz K. Becker (EPP, AT) - Afternoon session discussant.


PARTICIPATION

Active participation, both in-person and on-line is welcome (#EUCITIZENS). Live reporting from the floor will be available through #PETI_EU and #EP_Justice Twitter accounts.

Further information and RegistrationPetitions CommitteeCivil Liberties CommitteeLegal Affairs CommitteeProfile of Erminia Mazzoni, MEPProfile of Juan Fernando López Aguilar, MEPProfile of Evelyn Regner, MEP