To mark the EU Year of Citizens and the Irish Presidency of the EU, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore TD will take part in a lunchtime dialogue in Cork today (Friday 15th February 2013) with local citizens. The event, organised by European Movement Ireland, is part of a series which will offer an opportunity to take stock of our rights as European citizens, and to reflect on how the EU should be in 2020.
The European Year of Citizens was launched at successful event in Dublin in January by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Tánaiste. The formal launch of the year was followed by the first Citizens’ Dialogue in Dublin’s City Hall when participants engaged with the Commission Vice President, Viviane Reding, and with Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton TD.
Throughout the Year of Citizens the European Commission will organise a range of information activities across Europe to inform people of their rights and responsibilities as EU citizens, to bring the EU closer to the citizen and explain what the EU is doing for them, to open up a broad debate on European identity and to encourage mobility among young people. The aim is to encourage dialogue between all levels of government, civil society and business at events and conferences around Europe. Civil society organisations are also encouraged to organise activities at grassroots level.
European Movement Ireland is organising the event in Cork, the second in a planned series of citizens’ dialogues and events across Ireland, to mark not just the European Year of Citizens but also the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the EU and its seventh EU Presidency. They offer participants an opportunity to take stock of our EU membership and our rights as European citizens, and to reflect on how they would like to see the EU in 2020.
The Presidency has also made provision for additional opportunities for citizen participation, through its Communicating Europe Initiative.