Question for oral answer to the Commission Rule 115 Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Doris Pack, Marco Scurria, on behalf of the PPE Group
Subject: Public consultations and their availability in all EU languages
The European Union remains a remote entity to many of its citizens, although efforts are being made to increase elements of direct democracy in the EU. The EU Citizenship Report 2010 states that: ‘European citizens’ involvement is vital for the success of these efforts – not only as passive beneficiaries of rights but as actors in the European project’.
In its answer to a previous question on public consultations (E-002327/2011), the Commission pledged to review its consultation policy in 2011.
When will the results of this promised review be available? How does the Commission intend to make better use of consultation channels in the Member States (one of the elements of the review)?
The Kraków Declaration, adopted at the Single Market Forum in October 2011, called for public consultations to be ‘more proactive, organised in partnership with national and local stakeholders, NGOs, trade unions, the media and other multipliers’. It also called for all language versions to be made available and for consultations to be accessible to the average citizen.
How does the Commission intend to respond to the Kraków Declaration’s call for better-organised public consultations?
The Commission has proposed to designate 2013 as the European Year of Citizens to raise awareness of the benefits and rights afforded by EU citizenship and to stimulate citizens’ active participation in Union policy-making.
In the light of this, what other steps does the Commission plan to take in order to bridge the communication and information gap between citizens and the EU?