EU Launches European Year of Citizens
The European Commission has named 2013 "European Year of Citizens" to raise awareness about EU citizens' rights.
2013 has been designated as the European Year of Citizens to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the European Union Citizenship under the Maastricht Treaty.
On 10 January 2013, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Vice-President Viviane Reding will join forces with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton to open the European Year of Citizens 2013 in the Rotunda of Dublin City Hall.
Over 200 citizens from Dublin will participate in an open debate with Europe's leaders on the future of the European Union. The Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore and Irish MEPs from the region will also participate in the debate.
"We need the direct involvement of citizens in building a stronger and more political Union. That is why 2013 is the European Year of Citizens – a year dedicated to you and your rights as Europeans," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, according to a press release published Thursday.
"Union citizenship is more than a concept. It is a practical reality that brings tangible benefits to citizens. The European Commission wants to help people understand how they can directly benefit from their rights and listen to their views about where Europe is headed. European citizens' must be able to voice their concerns and prepare the ground for future European elections. It's time we all took ownership of our common future."
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