European Movement response to citizenship consultation
As a key proponent of citizens voices within Europe one of the ambitions of the European Movement is to foster and enhance civil dialogue. This is because we feel dialogue is crucial for a better understanding between all EU citizens both across borders and with the European institutions.
However, we are keenly aware that more can be done, and this is why we responded to the European Commission’s Consultation on EU Citizenship. We believe that European citizens share commons goals and concerns and that increased interaction, more mobility and cultural connections can lead to a more united European Union that works for its citizens.
Despite this, and partly as a result of current challenges, many strands of European society are headed in a very different direction. This concerns us. Rather than putting up fences, giving into fear or laying blame at someone else’s feet, now is the time – more than ever – for Europeans to draw together and prove that we stand for unity, tolerance and democratic responsibility.
Cross-border experiences are essential for the creation and continuation of an EU identity, especially among younger generations. For this reason, we propose in our response to the Consultation that schemes, such as Erasmus, should have a renewed emphasis, including further funding to young people from all socio-economic backgrounds, to ensure all young people are given the opportunity to experience both the diversity and commonalities of our continent.
Increasing citizens’ participation in political life is also of great importance to us. With this in mind we also propose that more can be done to make use of online tools to boost interaction and dialogue between citizens and elected officials. However, in order to imbue a greater sense of European identity, we also propose concrete developments in the European elections, such as the introduction of transnational lists. As we argued in our briefing on European electoral reform, the proposed changes would encourage the greater participation of citizens in elections and make the European political parties more visible. This should be coupled with a revision of the technical procedure relating to the European Citizens’ Initiative and the enhancement of national and transnational Europe-centric media.
This is only a modicum of our full response to the consultation. We encourage you to also give your opinion!
The Consultation on EU Citizenship offers the chance to share your opinion on our common values, rights and democratic participation within the EU including the obstacles that are faced through your daily lived experience. The deadline for responses is this Monday 7 December and both individual citizens and organisations are encouraged to offer feedback.