BREXIT: FROM BEING BARGAINING CHIPS, DO CITIZENS REALLY COUNT ANY MORE?
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There is currently no public debate about European rights in the run-up to the European Council meeting but only about the other two issues on which sufficient progress has to be made-the size of the divorce bill and the Irish border- before talks move on to the trade relationship.
Nothing has been published on the Commission’s website since end of September when the comparison between the EU and UK positions showed substantial unsolved problems. Does this mean that since then there has been further progress but in secret talks between the two sides or, as the European Parliament is asserting that progress is still insufficient?
The meeting on 6 December could be important to shed light on an issue which has become dangerously hidden from public view. The discussion at a first meeting held on 1 September at the end of the summer university on European citizenship was so useful that by popular demand we are organising an update. This is an opportunity for participants to find out first hand from a member of the Commission’s negotiating team what is going on and at the same time to come forward with concerns of which the negotiators may not be aware. The need for this is evident from often contradictory statements from each side about progress made and which is responsible for the next steps. For those interested in participating we recommend as background reading “Citizens’ rights”- joint technical note summarising the UK and EU positions- TF 50(2017) 17 of 28 September. This provides some answers, but also begs further questions.
Tony Venables, director of the ECIT foundation on European citizenship, one of the organisers of this event said today “As in any EU negotiation, so too with BREXIT, there is the danger that economic and trade interests take precedence over those of citizens. This is the result of the imbalance between corporate lobbying and lobbying in the public interest and EU legal competence skewed in favour of large economic operators. Only more mobilisation of the 3 million EU citizens in the UK and 1.3 million UK citizens in the EU can, with the support of the European Parliament, correct this imbalance. The message should be no movement into the next stage of talks without us and before there are transparent and enforceable guarantees people can trust to preserve all European rights”
12.15 p.m Welcome and registration of participants
12.30 p.m. -1.30 p.m. Participants divide in World café style round tables each on a specific broad theme over a quick bite to eat and drinks*.
1.30 p.m.-3.30 p.m. Session chaired by Suzana Carp on behalf of the host organisations. Briefing by Marie Simonsen , feedback from the round tables, questions, answers and suggestions for the future.
*Please note that participation fee of 20 euros includes lunch REGISTER HERE