The Year of Citizens will be formally launched on 10 January 2013 in Dublin.
The European Union belongs to its citizens. The EU’s decisions are taken by the Governments of its Member States, and by the Members of the European Parliament, both directly elected by the EU’s voters.
Citizens of the EU also enjoy a wide range of rights, which guarantee our personal freedoms, as well as our freedom to move freely throughout the European Union, our high standards of labour and social protection and our rights as consumers or passengers. These rights have a real impact on our daily lives. And yet many of us either take them for granted, or are unaware that they exist.
So this year has been designated the European Year of Citizens with the objective of making our rights as EU citizens better known, so that people can enjoy them to the full. The Year of Citizens will also encourage public debate about what EU citizenship means for us, the people of the EU.
The Year of Citizens will be formally launched on 10 January 2013 in Dublin’s historic City Hall by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.
Immediately following the launch, Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding and Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton will jointly hold a Citizens’ Dialogue with around 200 people from all walks of life about the current economic crisis, the rights of European citizens and the future of the European Union. The event will be streamed live.
This will be the first of a range of public discussions and events that will be held across the European Union in 2013. Individuals and civil society organisations are also encouraged to bring forward their own proposals to mark the Year.