The Commission’ White Paper setting out five scenarios for the Future of the European Union , the March for Europe and the other events during the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on 25 March are opening up space for a long overdue debate on the future of Europe.
The contribution by the ECIT Foundation to this debate is the following 12 point agenda for strengthening EU citizenship and reforming the European Union’s Institutions whilst making its programmes, such as ERASMUS, available to all.
- A more preventative, collective and problem-solving approach to the enforcement of European rights;
- Creation of a European free movement solidarity fund;
- Full political rights for European citizens;
- A more inclusive approach to European citizenship by giving access to legally resident third country nationals;
- A better guarantee of citizens’ involvement in EU policy making by making voluntary systems mandatory, user-friendly and multi-lingual.
- Drawing up a European law for the proper conduct of citizen participation practices, including on the theme of European citizenship.
- Easier to use citizens’ initiatives, whereby over 1 million citizens can change a European law.
- Fostering a civil society movement for European citizenship
- Introducing a right to be informed and to education for European citizenship in schools.
- Creating in stages an entitlement for all European citizens to participate in a European exchange programme.
- Introducing a European citizenship card – making it easier to enforce European rights, sign European initiatives and prove such an entitlement
- Reforming Article 25 (TFEU) so that the normal decision-making process can be used to develop European citizenship.
This reform agenda is the product not of one organisation but broadly reflects what European civil society has been saying since Union citizenship was included in the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993.
ECIT Foundation – a think tank working exclusively on European citizenship – offers:
- A detailed analysis of the current state of EU citizenship and how to develop the reform agenda in a book entitled Piecing together Europe’s Citizenship – Searching for Cinderella in English and Vers un citoyen européen in French. The book claims: “If such reforms had been put in place, the EU would have managed crises better and more democratically and the UK might not have voted on 23 June 2016 to leave the EU”;
- Guidelines bringing together the scattered pieces of the EU’s citizenship so that it dares to speak its name and is developed further. In a period of increased nationalism, why is the EU not taking more advantage of the first transnational citizenship of the modern era?
- Debate and discussion among civil society activists, academics and policy makers at a Summer University on European Citizenship, which will be held from 30 August to 1 September 2017 at the Maison des Associations Internationales in Brussel
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