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Debate on the future of Europe: Commissioner Barnier and French Minister Repentin will debate issues with citizens at Plaine Saint Denis

European Commission - IP/14/195   26/02/2014

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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 26 February 2014

Debate on the future of Europe: Commissioner Barnier and French Minister Repentin will debate issues with citizens at Plaine Saint Denis

The future of Europe, citizens' rights and the economic recovery are the topics to be discussed at the 46th Citizens' Dialogue (see Annex) with Michel Barnier, Thierry Repentin and 350 citizens, which will take place on 27 February 2014 in Paris - Plaine Saint Denis.

'Euroscepticism is fuelled by the economic crisis, dangerous over-simplification and distortions. We must have a debate, explain the European project and continue to improve Europe', declared Michel Barnier, Member of the European Commission responsible for internal market and services. 'The dialogue taking place tomorrow will be an opportunity for citizens to get answers to their questions and make their voices heard with the institutions whose job it is to shape the European general interest'.

Citizens from all over the Ile de France area will participate in the dialogue at Plaine Saint Denis alongside politicians, business leaders and cultural figures fromFrance. Thierry Repentin, the Minister with responsibility for European Affairs, will take part in the dialogue alongside Michel Barnier.

The debate takes place on 27 February 2012 from 17.30 to 20.00 CET at the Docks of Plaine St Denis and will be preceded by a press conference. It can be followed live via webstream. Citizens from all over Europe can also participate via Twitter by using the hashtag #EUDeb8 and Facebook.

Background

What are the Citizens' Dialogues about?

In January 2013, the European Commission launched the European Year of Citizens (IP/13/2), dedicated to citizens and their rights. Throughout the year, members of the Commission took part in debates with citizens about their expectations for the future in Citizens' Dialogues all over the EU. These actions will continue in 2014, the year of the European elections.

So far, 45 Citizens’ Dialogues have already taken place across the European Union, with a member of the Commission (see Annex) and national and European politicians present on each occasion. All of the Dialogues can be followed at: http://ec.europa.eu/debate-future-europe

According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, 36 % of French people think that their voice counts in Europe (the EU average is 29 %). 57 % of French people feel European (the EU average is 59 %). However, only 29 % of them said that they know what rights EU citizenship gives them, the lowest percentage of the 28 Member States. At the same time, 68 % of French people would like to know more about their rights as EU citizens. Finally, France is one of three countries, along with Portugal and Italy, in which citizens say they find it difficult to understand the functioning of the EU (only 43 % in France) and 80 % think that they are not well-informed (the second lowest) – only the Spanish feel less informed than the French in the EU.

The Commission declared 2013 the 'European Year of Citizens' for the purpose of holding debates about the concerns, questions and rights of citizens. The Citizens' Dialogues were at the heart of 2013 and will continue 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 course of the European Union. 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 in drawing up plans for a future reform of the EU.

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 encounter (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:

On meetings and debates organised in Marseille:

www.debat-europe2014.fr

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 are entitled to have their say: Results of the consultation on EU citizens’ rights:

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

Welcome page of the website of Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/barnier/index_en.htm

Follow the Commissioner on Twitter: @MBarnierEU

European Commission Representation in France:

http://ec.europa.eu/france/index_fr.htm

Contacts :

Chantal Hughes (+32 2 296 44 50)

Audrey Augier (+32 2 297 16 07)

Carmel Dunne (+32 2 299 88 94)

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

Thierry Repentin, French Minister for European Affairs

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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