29-10-2020 13:45
Joint Hearing - Union Citizenship: Empowerment, Inclusion, Participation

crowd of people walking on city ©AP Images/European Union-EP
© AP Images/European Union-EP

On 29 October 2020, a hearing on Union Citizenship will be jointly organised by the European Parliament (JURI, LIBE, AFCO and PETI Committees) and the European Commission. The hearing will see a keynote speech by Mr. Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice and the participation of the office of the European Ombudsman, as well as representatives from various NGOs.

The objective of the hearing will be to offer a timely opportunity to further reflect, with all actors concerned, on concrete avenues to simplify and strengthen EU citizenship rights, promoting EU citizenship's values and citizens' democratic participation, also taking into account lessons learned from the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The internal border restrictions introduced during the initial months of the Covid-19 pandemic made clear the benefits to EU citizens of their right to freedom of movement, as well as the barriers to certain social groups in exercising their full EU citizenship rights.

At the same time, the need to come up with new ways of working, meeting, and communicating can provide an opportunity to explore innovative channels and formats for enhancing European democracy - ways which could reach more EU citizens directly and facilitate their participation in debates and European elections.