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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 14 October 2013

Future of Europe: Vice-President Viviane Reding to debate with citizens in Stockholm

The future of Europe, citizens' rights and the recovery from the economic crisis are the topics to be discussed at the 33rd Citizens' Dialogue (see Annex) with Vice-President Viviane Reding and 350 citizens in Stockholm. The debate will take place on 15 October and Vice-President Reding will be joined by Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson, Member of the European Parliament Olle Ludvigsson and Lord Mayor of the City of Stockholm, Margareta Björk.

"Sweden is a world leader in promoting innovation: ABBA, Volvo, Ikea or meatballs - they all originated in Sweden and have become great hits in Europe. But for me, the probably most important Swedish invention is the institution of the ombudsman set up to deal with citizens' complaints. Today the ombudsman has become a central pillar in every democracy giving citizens a voice. I can therefore not imagine a better place to discuss with citizens about how to further strengthen Europe's democratic foundations," said Vice-President Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. "I am looking forward to hearing the ideas of Swedish citizens and their views and expectations on the future of our Union. Maybe it's time for another Swedish innovation that will be exported to Europe!"

The Citizens' Dialogue will take place in the Stockholm City Hall on Tuesday 15 October from 13:00 to 15:00 CET. It will be moderated by Richard Olsson, a well-known presenter on Swedish national TV and broadcast live on Swedish national TV.

The debate will be interactive with participants using voting devices to share their opinions. Contributions coming in via social media from people who cannot attend the event will also be streamed and discussed. Questions are welcome via Twitter using the hashtag #EUDeb8 and the whole debate can be followed live via webstream on http://www.eu-kommissionen.se/.

Background

What are the Citizens' Dialogues about?

In January, the European Commission kicked off the European Year of Citizens (IP/13/2), a year dedicated to citizens and their rights. Throughout the year, members of the Commission are holding debates with citizens about their expectations for the future in Citizens' Dialogues all over the EU.

Vice-President Reding has already held debates in Cádiz (Spain), in Graz (Austria), in Berlin (Germany), in Dublin (Ireland), in Coimbra (Portugal), in Thessaloniki (Greece), in Brussels (Belgium) and in Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), Warsaw (Poland), Heidelberg (Germany), Sofia (Bulgaria), Namur (Belgium), Trieste (Italy) and Helsinki (Finland). Many more Dialogues will take place all over the European Union throughout 2013 and in the first few months of 2014 – which will see European, national and local politicians engaging in a debate with citizens from all walks of life.

Follow all the Dialogues here: http://ec.europa.eu/european-debate.

A lot has been achieved in the twenty years since the introduction of EU Citizenship:

A recent Eurobarometer survey shows that 69% of Swedes feel European (62% on average for EU citizens). However, only 55% say that they know what rights EU citizenship brings. At the same time 75% of Swedes want to know more about their rights as EU citizens.

This is why the Commission has made 2013 the European Year of Citizens, a year dedicated to citizens and their rights. The Citizens' Dialogues are at the heart of this year.

Why is the Commission doing this now?

Because Europe is at a crossroads. The coming months and years will be decisive for the future course of the European Union, with many voices talking about moving towards political union, a Federation of Nation States or a United States of Europe. Furthermore, European integration must go hand in hand with strengthening the Union's democratic legitimacy. Giving citizens a direct voice in this debate is therefore more important than ever.

What will be the outcome of the Dialogues?

The feedback from citizens during the Dialogues will help guide the Commission as it draws up plans for a future reform of the EU. One of the main purposes of the Dialogues will also be to prepare the ground for the 2014 European elections.

On 8 May 2013 the European Commission published its second EU Citizenship Report, which puts forward 12 new concrete measures to solve problems citizens still have (IP/13/410 and MEMO/13/409). The Citizens' Report is the Commission's answer to a major online consultation held from May 2012 (IP/12/461) and the questions raised and suggestions made in Citizens' Dialogues on EU citizens' rights and their future.

For more information:

Further information on the Stockholm Dialogue:

http://www.md.eu-kommissionen.se/

Debates with citizens on the Future of Europe:

http://ec.europa.eu/debate-future-europe

European Year of Citizens:

http://europa.eu/citizens-2013

Europeans have their say: Results of the consultation on EU citizens’ rights:

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/citizen/files/eu-citizen-brochure_en.pdf

Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner:

http://ec.europa.eu/reding

Site of the representation of the EC in Sweden:

http://ec.europa.eu/sverige/index_sv.htm

Follow the Vice-President on Twitter: @VivianeRedingEU

To contribute to the debate on Twitter: #EUdeb8

ANNEX:

1. Citizens' Dialogues: the debate on Europe's future continues…

Member State

City

Date

European Commissioner

local/national politicians

Spain

Cadiz

27/09/2012

Vice-President Reding

Mayor of Cádiz Teófila Martínez Saíz

Austria

Graz

05/11/2012

Vice-President Reding

Austrian Vice-Chancellor / Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger

Germany

Berlin

10/11/2012

Vice-President Reding

German Member of European Parliament Dagmar Roth-Behrendt

France

Paris

23/11/2012

Vice-President Reding

None

Italy

Napoli

30/11/2012

Commissioner Andor

Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris

Ireland

Dublin

10/01/2013

President Barroso/ Vice-President Reding

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny / Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore / Irish European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton

Sweden

Göteborg

18/02/2013

Commissioner Malmström

None

Italy

Torino

21/02/2013

Commissioner Malmström

Mayor of Turin Piero Fassino

Portugal

Coimbra

22/02/2013

Vice-President Reding

Mayor of Coimbra João Paulo Barbosa de Melo / Mayor of Esch-sur-Alzette Lydia Mutsch (video link) / Luxembourgish Member of Parliament Felix Braz

Italy

Rome

18/03/2013

Vice-President Tajani

Mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno

Greece

Thessaloniki

22/03/2013

Vice-President Reding

Mayor of Thessaloniki Yiannis Boutaris

Italy

Pisa

05/04/2013

Commissioner Potočnik

Mayor of Pisa Marco Filippeschi

Belgium

Ghent

12/04/2013

Commissioner De Gucht

Mayor of Ghent Daniël Termont / Belgian Member of Parliament Geert Versnick

Belgium

Eupen

23/04/2013

Commissioner Hahn

Belgian MEP Mathieu Grosch/Begian Minister-President of the German Community Karl-Heinz Lambertz

Belgium

Bruxelles

04/05/2013

Vice-President Reding

Minister-President of the Brussels region Charles Picqué / Belgian Member of European Parliament Marc Tarabella

Germany

Düsseldorf

08/05/2013

Commissioner Oettinger

German Member of European Parliament Jürgen Klute / Chairman of "Committee on Europe and a Single World" Nicolaus Kern / Spokespersons of the North Rhine-Westphalia Parliament on European issues – Ilka Freifrau von Boeselager, Stefan Engstfeld, Markus Töns and Dr Ingo Wolf

Slovenia

Ljubljana

09/05/2013

Commissioner Potočnik

None

Poland

Warsaw

11/05/2013

Commissioner Lewandowski

None

Czech Republic

Prague

13/05/2013

Commissioner Füle

Irish Minister for Trade John Perry / Chairman of the Czech Parliament's European Affairs Committee Jan Bauer / Czech Members of the European Parliament Jan Březina and Libor Rouček / Deputy State Secretary for European Affairs Martin Tlapa

Italy

Ventotene

27/05/2013

Vice-President Tajani

Mayor of Ventotene Giuseppe Assenso

Italy

Milano

07/06/2013

Commissioner Hedegaard

Mayor of Milan Giuliano Pisapia

Luxembourg

Esch

30/06/2013

Vice-President Reding

Luxembourgish MEP Charles Goerens / Luxembourg Member of Parliament Félix Braz / Wallonian Regional Minister Benoit Lutgen / Luxembourg Minister for Labour and Employment Nicolas Schmit

Poland

Warsaw

11/07/2013

President Barroso / Vice-President Reding

Polish Member of European Parliament Róża Thun / Former Prime Minister Tadeusz Masowiecki

Greece

Crete

12/07/2013

Commissioner Damanaki

Governor of the Crete region Stavros Arnaoutakis / Greek Member of Parliament Spyros Danellis / Mayor of Heraklion Giannis Kourakis

Germany

Heidelberg

16/07/2013

Vice-President Reding

Baden Wüttemberg Minister-President Winfred Kretschmann

Bulgaria

Sofia

23/07/2013

Vice-President Reding

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev

Belgium

Namur

13/09/2013

Vice-President Reding

Minister-President of Wallonia Rudi Demotte

Estonia

Tallinn

14/09/2013

Vice-Presidents Rehn / Kallas

None

Italy

Trieste

16/09/2013

Vice-President Reding

Italian Minister for European Affairs Enzo Moavero Milanesi

Finland

Helsinki

24/09/2013

Vice-President Reding

Finnish Member of European Parliament Sirpa Pietikäinen / Finnish MP, Member of the Grand Committee Tuomo Puumala (Centre/ALDE) / Finnish MP, Chair of the Grand Committee, former President of the European Movement in Finland Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (SDP/S&D) / Chairperson of the Young People's Working Group on the Future of the EU Milla Ovaska

Hungary

Györ

03/10/2013

Commissioner Andor

Hungarian State Secretary for EU Affairs Enikő Győri and Member of the European Parliament Csaba Őry.

Slovakia

Košice

05/10/2013

Vice-President Šefčovic

Slovak Prime Minster Robert Fico

Sweden

Stockholm

15/10/2013

Vice-President Reding

Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson /
Member of European Parliament Olle Ludvigsson /
Mayor of Stockholm Sten Nordin

Belgium

Liège

17/10/2013

President Barroso

Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders / Economic Minister for Wallonia Jean-Claude Marcourt

Latvia

Riga

18/10/2013

Commissioner Piebalgs

Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks

Malta

Valetta

07/11/2013

Commissioner Borg

TBC

France

Marseille

14/11/2013

Vice-President Reding

French Justice Minister Christine Taubira

Cyprus

Nicosia

28/11/2013

Commissioner Vassiliou

TBC

Austria

Eisenstadt

29/11/2013

Commissioner Hahn

TBC

Lithuania

Vilnius

13/12/2013

Vice-President Reding

TBC

Belgium

Wavre

19/12/2013

Commissioner Barnier

TBC

Online

Virtual dialogue

16/01/2014

Vice-President Reding

TBC

Denmark

Copenhagen

06/02/2014

Commissioner Hedegaard

TBC

United Kingdom

London

11/02/2014

Vice-President Reding

TBC

Netherlands

Utrecht

13/02/2014

Vice-President Reding

TBC

Spain

Barcelona

23/02/2014

Vice-President Reding

TBC

Belgium

European Citizens' Dialogue

27/03/2014

Vice-President Reding

TBC

2. Three in four Swedes want to know more about their rights

Source: Eurobarometer Standard 79 - May 2013

3. Swedes see peace and freedom of movement as most positive results of EU

Source: Eurobarometer Standard 79 - May 2013

Contacts :

Mina Andreeva (+32 2 299 13 82)

Natasha Bertaud (+32 2 296 74 56)


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