On 22 March 2013, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, was in Thessaloniki, Greece, to hold a debate with over 500 citizens about the impact of the crisis and their expectations for the future of the European Union.
This video shows vox pops before and after the debate.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Anastasios Grouletsos (in ENGLISH) saying that debates like that one are a good opportunity for people to discuss with the European leaders or Commissioners; but it could be something more social and more direct, not only some conferences in each city.
||Soundbite by Konstantinos Kostardis (in ENGLISH) saying that he would like to hear other people's views, Ms. Reding's views on certain topics, perhaps ask questions and exchange ideas, especially now that Europe is in a situation of turmoil and major changes are taking place.
||Soundbite by Katerina Ardela (in GREEK) saying that the reason why she's there is to learn more about the EU; she came as a teacher; she did some research beforehand and was impressed by her lack of knowledge on the subject so she decided to come to be able to convey more information to her students.
||Soundbite by Konstantinos Kostardis (in ENGLISH) saying that he would like to discuss how it could be possible to combine the Europe of the people with the Europe of the Economy, and the changes that are taking place on an economic level.
||Soundbite by Katerina Ardela (in GREEK) saying that she came to find out more about education in Europe and more so, what could differentiate education in Europe from the educational system in the rest of the world.
||Soundbite by Clarissa Kleinhuis (in ENGLISH) saying that of course the future of Europe is the main topic; she is with a group of Erasmus students and they are also going to ask about the future of the Erasmus project because they have heard that it will be changed.
||Soundbite by Anastasios Grouletsos (in ENGLISH) saying that in that debate he expects to hear some answers of the European Commission about Europe, the crisis in Europe and new expectations people have with all of these problems in Greece, Cyprus, Spain and the south economic crisis.
||Soundbite by Clarissa Kleinhuis (in ENGLISH) saying that it is good because people get more involved in the European Union.
||Soundbite by Katerina Ardela (in GREEK) saying that in a time when the meaning of Europe is going through a crisis and its foundations are probably not as solid as they should be, she believes that kind of debate should take place more often in order for the public to acquire more information, knowledge, and be able to have a better opinion.
||Soundbite by Anastasios Grouletsos (in ENGLISH) saying that the question will be again about the crisis and the differences between the northern countries and the southern countries and the debts they have.
||Soundbite by Mantziaris-Zafiris Stergios (in ENGLISH) saying that the discussion was not about how the EU operates or how the decisions are taking place; it was something like a commercial for the EU, not answers, not justifying the existence of the European Union.
||Soundbite by Terzi Athina (in ENGLISH) saying that it was important and a big step because it was the first time that they had the chance to ask face to face important questions about the EU and the big issue oft the Greek economic crisis.
||Soundbite by Maria Boutzeti (in ENGLISH) saying that she learnt a lot of things about the EU and the way it functions.
||Soundbite by Mantziaris-Zafiris Stergios (in ENGLISH) saying that every answer of the Vice-President was "you are right" but then "the European Union is a family, but you are still right, you are suffering"…, so it's really a commercial about the Prime Minister, about everything.
||Soundbite by Maria Boutzeti (in ENGLISH) saying that the time was very short so there were some questions left; unfortunately they have to read them on the Internet.
||Soundbite by Eleni Damianou (in ENGLISH) saying that it was a very important gesture of Ms. Reding, it was very important to listen to the citizens, to listen to people, European people who live in this crisis, to listen to what they have to say, what they believe, because it is really important if there is a democratic deficit after all in the EU or not.
||Soundbite by Terzi Athina (in ENGLISH) saying that she found it interesting because the answer to the first question - what do you think about the European Union - was different at the beginning and at the end; most people there were satisfied about the event.
||Soundbite by Eleni Damianou (in ENGLISH) saying that it gave people an idea of what the European Union does, what the European Commission does; because sometimes there is a gap between the decisions that are taken in Brussels and the regional level or national level, where people don't know what to think or to expect.
||Soundbite by Mantziaris-Zafiris Stergios (in ENGLISH) saying that the European citizens are not a family because there are too many differences between people from the north, people of the surplus countries, in contrast to his country Greece -, to Spain, to Italy, to Cyprus; they have so many differences actually in financing their lives; so they cannot speak about a family, cannot speak of anything in common; they don't have anything in common with these people.
||Soundbite by Eleni Damianou (in ENGLISH) saying that she will always have questions about that, she will always be questioning people who know more than her or have higher level positions, but a very important step was taken with that debate.