Friday, December 23, 2011

23/12/2011: EU - 2013 = Year of Citizens, Rest of Time = Years of Brussels?

So 2013 theme for EU is "The European Year of Citizens". I know, it was proposed some months ago, but...

The challenges for the "Year of Citizens" will be to:
  • Raise citizens' awareness of their right to reside freely within the European Union and of how they can benefit from EU rights and policies [Though, of course, if they happen to be Russian-speaking near-majority in some Baltic States, they are not quite 'citizens' and if they happen to be from certain EEC member states, they can reside, but have no right to work in other member states, plus if they live in Ireland, they have a duty to repay banks bondholders in other member states, and if they live in Greece, they have no right to have a referendum on their own economic policies, and... oh, well... the list goes on];
  • Stimulate citizens' active participation in EU policy-making [because, as we know it, European 'citizens' are starting to get tired of the farcical nature of governance in the EU, especially when it comes to that pesky democratic deficit (chart below is from Spiegel Online):

  • Build debate about the impact and potential of the right to free movement, especially on strengthening cohesion and people's mutual understanding of one another [no comment here, since we are currently living through the period when many member states are starting to put in place measures to reduce that 'free movement']
But overall, did anyone ask the EU Commission and the European Parliament the following question: If 2013 is the year of European citizens, then, pardon me for using foreign turn of phrase here, what the hell were all the previous and will the subsequent years be about? Years of Brussels? 

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