The Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, in collaboration with the European Commission Representation and other partners, organised a Final Conference of the European Year of Citizens 2013, on 2 December at the Kaiserstein Palace in Prague.
Speakers discussed some of the events organised within the frame of the current campaign, including:
The representative of the European Year of Citizens Alliance (EYCA) in the Czech Republic particularly highlighted achievements as part of the cooperation and networking within the Alliance.
Apart from looking at the rights of the EU citizens, the conference also summarised achievements and results of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 and the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012. In particular, the creation and maintenance of the volunteering website www.dobrovolnik.cz was stressed as one of the positive outcomes of the former campaign. Additionally, speakers mentioned that in 2011, an initiative for a new volunteering law was started, with the new legislation now being discussed on the Government level. Furthermore, the topic of Year 2011 supported the discussions on the assessment of the value of volunteering work within co-funded projects.
The European Year 2012 was positively appraised by speakers for setting priorities related to senior citizens. These priorities were subsequently summarised in the National Action Plan Supporting Positive Ageing. Apart from that, seniors were involved in 2012 in volunteering projects concerning prevention of Alzheimers. As pointed out by participants at the conference contributing to the panel discussion, even though many steps and activities have not been realised yet, since 2012 new topics have been set for future discussion and are now being developed.
As a conclusion to the conference, and to the European Year of Citizens 2013 in the Czech Republic, the Director of the European Parliament Information Office in the Czech Republic stressed the importance of elections to the European Parliament that are planned for 2014. It has been agreed that this is the next key step for European citizens to take in the upcoming months, and this way their actively participate in the pan-European discussion about the future of Europe.