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Future of Europe debate: Vice-President Viviane Reding to hold Citizens' Dialogue in Barcelona

European Commission - IP/14/166   21/02/2014

Other available languages: FR DE DA ES NL IT SV PT FI EL CS ET HU LT LV MT PL SK SL BG RO HR

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 February 2013

Future of Europe debate: Vice-President Viviane Reding to hold Citizens' Dialogue in Barcelona

What role should the EU play in the economic recovery? What rights do we have as European citizens and how do these rights affect our daily lives? What kind of Europe do citizens want for the future? These are some of the issues that European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding will discuss with around 250 citizens on 23rd February in Barcelona for the 45th Citizens' Dialogue.

"In the midst of the crisis, Spain undertook painful reforms. Citizens might not be feeling the immediate results in their daily lives yet, but Spain is firmly on the path to recovery. I want Spanish citizens to know: The EU is not letting you down. Fighting youth unemployment is our top priority," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. “I have known Catalonia for a long time. I know Catalans are ardent Europeans. I am therefore convinced that the debate in Barcelona will be passionate when it comes to the future of our Union but also Catalonia's future. I am looking forward to this Dialogue with citizens in Barcelona."

At the Dialogue, citizens will have the opportunity to debate with Vice-President Reding, to ask questions and to put forward their views and concerns. The Dialogue will be moderated by TV3 journalist Carles Prats.

The event is fully booked but those wishing to attend can still follow the event on a big screen at the European Commission's Regional Office in Barcelona (information on enrolment here).

The Dialogue will take place on 23rd February from 18.00 to 20.00 in the Auditorium of one of Barcelona's most famous buildings, "La Pedrera" (Passeig de Gràcia, 92). The event can be watched live via webstream while citizens from all over Europe can also participate via Facebook and Twitter by using hashtags #EUDeb8 and #RedingBCN.

On 24 February, Vice-President Reding will inaugurate the recently restored historical complex of the Sant-Pau Hospital together with the President of the Catalan Autonomous Government, Artur Mas, Spanish Minister for Internal Development, Ana Pastor the Mayor of the Catalan capital city, Xavier Trias, and the Archbishop of Barcelona, Lluís Martínez Sistach. Half of the EUR 22.5 million used for the restoration of the main pavilion of this UNESCO World Heritage Site came from EU funds (European Regional Development Fund) – a good example of how EU money can help to build infrastructure and create jobs locally.

Background

What are the Citizens' Dialogues about?

In 2013 the European Commission launched the European Year of Citizens (IP/13/2). Some of the activities associated with this year are continuing into 2014. Throughout 2013 and moving into 2014, members of the Commission have debated with citizens from all over Europe about their expectations for the future.

So far 44 dialogues with citizens have taken place across the European Union, with at least one Commissioner present on each occasion. A total of 50 such meetings are planned (see annex). You can follow them on the net via http://ec.europa.eu/debate-future-europe.

A recent Eurobarometer poll shows that 69% of Spaniards feel European (59% on average for EU citizens in all Member States). However, only 43% say that they know what rights EU citizenship brings while 60% of Spaniards would like to know more about their rights as EU citizens.

This is why the European Commission declared 2013 "European Year of Citizens", a year dedicated to citizens and their rights. The Citizens' Dialogues have been at the heart of this year and they are continuing in 2014.

Why is the Commission doing this now?

Because Europe is at a crossroads. The coming months and years will be decisive for the future of the European Union with many voices offering differing opinions on which direction it should take.. European integration should go hand in hand with reinforcing the Union's democratic legitimacy. Listening to the voices of citizens is therefore more important than ever.

What will be the outcome of the Citizens' Dialogue?

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 these Dialogues is to prepare the ground for the 2014 European Parliament elections.

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

Further information

Further information on the Barcelona Citizens' Dialogue:

www.ec.europa.eu/barcelona

Further information on the debate on social networks:

ec.europa.eu/spain/barcelona/actualitat-i-premsa/noticies/participacio-ciutadana-i-consultes/142701_ca.htm

Debates with citizens about the future of Europe:

ec.europa.eu/debate-future-europe

European Year of Citizens:

europa.eu/citizens-2013

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

ec.europa.eu/justice/citizen/files/eu-citizen-brochure_es.pdf

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

ec.europa.eu/reding

Follow Vice-President on Twitter: @VivianeRedingEU

European Commission Representation in Barcelona on Twitter: @euinbcn

Contacts :

Mina Andreeva (+32 2 299 13 82)

Natasha Bertaud (+32 2 296 74 56)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail

ANNEX

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

"-"

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 with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore / Irish European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton

Sweden

Göteborg

18/02/2013

Commissioner Malmström

"-"

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

"-"

Poland

Warsaw

11/05/2013

Commissioner Lewandowski

"-"

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

"-"

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 Parliametn 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 and 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

"-"

France

Marseille

14/11/2013

Vice-President Reding

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira

Cyprus

Limassol

28/11/2013

Commissioner Vassiliou

"-"

Austria

Eisenstadt

29/11/2013

Commissioner Hahn

Governor of Burgenland Hans Niessl

Belgium

Bruxelles

05/12/2013

Commissioner Vassiliou

Plácido Domingo, opera singer, President of Europa Nostra; Michelangelo Pistoletto, painter, member of the Culture Committee of the “New Narrative for Europe” initiative; Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament (tbc);Paul Dujardin, Director of the Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR), Brussels

Lithuania

Vilnius

13/12/2013

Vice-President Reding

"-"

Online

Online

16/01/2014

Vice-President Reding

"-"

Denmark

Copenhagen

06/02/2014

Commissioner Hedegaard

"-"

UK

London

10/02/2014

Vice-President Reding

David Lidington, Minister of State for Europe

Spain

Barcelona

23/02/2014

Vice-President Reding

"-"

France

Paris

27/02/2014

Commissioner Barnier

TBC

Croatia

Zagreb

03/03/2014

Commissioner Mimica

TBC

Germany

Koblenz

10/03/2014

Commissioner Oettinger

Minister-President Dreyer (Rhineland-Palatinate); State Minister for Europe Margit Conrad

Netherlands

Amsterdam

14/03/2014

Vice-President Reding

Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam

Romania

Bucharest

17/03/2014

Commissioner Cioloş

TBC

Belgium

European Citizens' Dialogue

27/03/2014

Vice-President Reding

TBC


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