Published: 29/05/2013 12:02
What does it mean to be a citizen of the European Union? What rights can we exercise? The year 2013 is the European Year of Citizens. On this occasion, many conferences, exhibitions and debates are held across Poland and other EU member states.
European Year of Citizens serves as an opportunity for discussion on the rights of free movement and residence in EU countries, taking up employment in EU member states, conducting business activity across Europe, using diplomatic and consular services, as well as on opportunities for active citizenship and active participation in elections for the European Parliament.
Knowledge of many Europeans on the above topics is not sufficient and the European Year of Citizens has been proclaimed in order to change that. Higher awareness of existing privileges will allow the Europeans to take more rational decisions and fully use the opportunities offered by a united Europe. A detailed programme of events held on the European level, including conferences, exhibitions and debates, is posted on the website of the European Commission.
Apart from the European Commission, the European Parliament, public administration agencies and NGOs are the organisers of the EYC celebrations in Poland. Polish Ministry of Administration and Digitization is the national coordinator of the events. On the ministry's website, you can find a tab entitled Europejski Rok Obywateli (in Polish), where you can find information about the celebrations, links to major documents and other websites, calendar of events and a list of major initiatives related with the European Year of Citizens 2013.
The Ministry wants to use the EYC to promote the commitment of citizens to public consultation processes, which aim at the development of a better law. The consultations are staged with observance of seven rules included in the consultation code approved by citizens and representatives of state administration.
The Ministry of Administration and Digitization also wants to draw attention to the rights of citizens in the fast changing digital world. The European debate on online privacy and new EU regulation on personal data protection is ongoing. Why this topic is so important? New ICT allow for easier transfer of personal data. On one hand, this promotes the development of new services and on the other brings many risks related with the collection and processing of data by unauthorised institutions and bodies.
The Ministry encourages all the stakeholders; public institutions, local governments, associations, foundations and individual citizens to active commitment in the celebrations of the European Year of Citizens. It also welcomes all information on events related with EYC, which can be sent at ER2013@mac.gov.pl. All interested parties can obtain promotional materials prepared by the European Commission, such as posters and stickers. You can also download promotional materials from the European Commission's website.