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

European Commission - IP/14/263   14/03/2014

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, 14 March 2014

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

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 14 March in Amsterdam at the 49th Citizens' Dialogue.

"As the European Parliament elections in May draw near, it is more important than ever to engage with citizens and hold a frank discussion about Europe, what it means today and what it should mean tomorrow," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. "A founding member at the heart of the EU and a gateway for Europe's trading partners, the Netherlands's destiny is European. I am greatly looking forward to hearing Dutch citizens' views and hope that the Netherlands, and the citizens I will meet in Amsterdam on Friday, will continue to play an active role in shaping Europe’s future."

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 NRC Handelsblad journalist Carolien de Gruyter and will also see the participation of Mr Eberhard Van Der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam.

Those wishing to attend can sign up via www.europadialoog.nl/amsterdam.

The Dialogue will take place on 14 March at 18.30 CET in the Rode Hoed in the Ossterhuiszaal, the largest and oldest remaining "hidden church" in the Netherlands dating from the Golden Age, located at Keizersgracht 102, Amsterdam. The event can be watched live via webstream while citizens from all over Europe can also participate via Facebook and Twitter by using hashtag #EUDeb8.

Interested journalists may participate in the event as well as in a press conference that will take place earlier in the day. For accreditation please contact the press office of the European Commission Representation in the Netherlands (see 'Further information below').

Background

What are the Citizens' Dialogues about?

In 2013 the European Commission launched the European Year of Citizens (IP/13/2). Throughout the year 2013 and now moving into 2014, the year of the European Parliament elections, members of the Commission debate with citizens from all over Europe about their expectations for the future.

So far 48 dialogues with citizens have taken place across the European Union, with at least one Commissioner present on each occasion. A total of more than 50 such meetings are planned (see annex). You can follow them on the net via http://ec.europa.eu/debate-future-europe.

In the run-up to the Citizens' Dialogue with Vice-President Reding, the European Commission's Representation in the Netherlands has organised a series of flanking events in cities around the country such as Rotterdam, Wageningen, Groningen, Enschede and Eindhoven, to give as many citizens as possible the chance to share their views and concerns.

A recent Eurobarometer poll shows that the average Dutch citizen feels less connected (35%) with the European Union than the average European citizen (46%). More than half (61%) of the Dutch are, however, optimistic about the future of the EU and 58% of the Dutch population feels like a European citizen.

Why is the Commission doing this now?

Because Europe is at a crossroads. The months and years to come will be decisive for the future of the European Union, with many voices offering differing opinions on which direction it should take. Giving citizens a direct voice in this debate is essential. 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

For journalists to register for the event, contact: Cecilia Thorfinn (+31 6 835 33 216).

Further information on the Amsterdam Citizens' Dialogue: www.europadialoog.nl/amsterdam

Debates with citizens about the future of Europe: ec.europa.eu/debate-future-europe

European Year of Citizens: europa.eu/citizens-2013

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

ec.europa.eu/reding

Follow Vice-President on Twitter: @VivianeRedingEU

European Commission Representation in the Netherlands on Facebook and Twitter

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

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

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

1. The debate on Europe's future continues…

Member State

City

Date

Commissioner

EU, national, regional and local politicians

Spain

Cadiz

27/09/2012

Reding

Mayor Martinez Saiz

Austria

Graz

05/11/2012

Reding

Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger

Germany

Berlin

10/11/2012

Reding

MEP Roth-Behrendt

France

Paris

23/11/2012

Reding

Italy

Naples

30/11/2012

Andor

Mayor de Magistris

Ireland

Dublin

10/01/2013

Barroso, Reding

Prime Minister Kenny, Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore, Minister of State for European Affairs Creighton

Sweden

Gothenburg

18/02/2013

Malmström

Italy

Turin

21/02/2013

Malmström

Mayor Fassino

Portugal

Coimbra

22/02/2013

Reding

Italy

Rome

18/03/2013

Tajani

Mayor Alemanno

Greece

Thessaloniki

22/03/2013

Reding

Mayor Boutaris

Italy

Pisa

05/04/2013

Potočnik

Mayor Filippeschi

Belgium

Ghent

12/04/2013

De Gucht

Mayor Termont

Belgium

Eupen

23/04/2013

Hahn

MEP Grosch, Minister-President (German Community) Lambertz

Belgium

Brussels

04/05/2013

Reding

(former) Minister-President of the Brussels region Picqué

Germany

Dusseldorf

08/05/2013

Oettinger

MEP Klute

Slovenia

Ljubljana

09/05/2013

Potočnik

Poland

Warsaw

11/05/2013

Lewandowski

Czech Republic

Prague

13/05/2013

Füle

Minister of State for Small Business (Ireland) Perry, Chairman of the Czech Parliament’s EU Affairs Committee Bauer

Italy

Ventotene

27/05/2013

Tajani

Mayor Assenso

Italy

Milan

07/06/2013

Hedegaard

Mayor Pisapia

Luxembourg

Esch

30/06/2013

Reding

MEP Goerens, Minister for Labour Schmit, MP Braz, Minister of Public Works, Agriculture, Rural Affairs, Patrimony and Nature Policy (Wallonia) Lutgen

Poland

Warsaw

11/07/2013

Barroso, Reding

Prime Minister Tusk, MEP Thun, former Prime Minister Mazowiecki

Greece

Heraklion

12/07/2013

Damanaki

MEP Danellis, Governor Arnaoutakis

Germany

Heidelberg

16/07/2013

Reding

Minister-President (Baden-Wurttemberg) Kretschmann

Bulgaria

Sofia

23/07/2013

Reding

President Plevneliev

Belgium

Namur

13/09/2013

Reding

Minister-President Demotte

Estonia

Tallinn

14/09/2013

Kallas, Rehn

Italy

Trieste

16/09/2013

Reding

Minister of European Affairs Moavero Milanesi

Finland

Helsinki

24/09/2013

Reding

MEP Pietikäinen

Hungary

Györ

03/10/2013

Andor

State Secretary for European Affairs Győri, MEP Őry

Slovak Republic

Košice

05/10/2013

Šefčovic

Slovak Parliament President Paška

Sweden

Stockholm

15/10/2013

Reding

Minister for European Union Affairs Ohlsson, MEP Ludvigsson

Belgium

Liège

17/10/2013

Barroso

Deputy Prime Minister Reynders (Belgium), Minister for Economics (Wallonia) Marcourt

Latvia

Riga

18/10/2013

Piebalgs

Minister of Defence Pabriks

Malta

Valetta

07/11/2013

Borg

France

Marseille

14/11/2013

Reding

Minister of Justice Taubira

Cyprus

Limassol

28/11/2013

Vassiliou

Austria

Eisenstadt

29/11/2013

Hahn

Minister-President (Burgenland) Niessl

Belgium

Brussels

05/12/2013

Vassiliou

MEP Durant

Lithuania

Vilnius

13/12/2013

Reding

Online

Virtual dialogue

16/01/2014

Reding

Denmark

Copenhagen

06/02/2014

Hedegaard

UK

London

10/02/2014

Reding

Minister of State for Europe Lidington

Spain

Barcelona

23/02/2014

Reding

France

Paris

27/02/2014

Barnier

Minister Delegate for European Affairs Repentin

Croatia

Zagreb

03/03/2014

Mimica

Germany

Koblenz

10/03/2014

Oettinger

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

Netherlands

Amsterdam

14/03/2014

Reding

Mayor van der Laan

Romania

Bucharest

17/03/2014

Ciolos

EU

European Dialogue Brussels

27/03/2014

Barroso, Reding, Rehn, Potočnik, Vassiliou, De Gucht, Damanaki, Hahn, Hedegaard, Andor, Mimica

MEP Roth-Behrendt, MEP Goerens


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