Citizens explained their expectations before and gave their impressions after the Citizens' Dialogue that was held on 14 March 2014 in Amsterdam.
The main themes of this dialogue with Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, were the economic and financial crisis, EU citizens' rights and the future of the EU.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Mareke Gomas (in ENGLISH) saying that she expects to get to know more about people's opinion on European democracy; saying that she is very interested in democracy in Europe and the European Commission and she hopes to learn more about people's opinion on how democratic the European Union now is.
||Soundbite by Ben Crum (in ENGLISH) saying that the question he has in mind for the Commissioner is two-fold: one is more about the bailouts in those poor countries like Greece, Portugal, Cyprus or Ireland, these last years, which have also done a bit of damage, and what is the responsibility of the Commission.
||Soundbite by Dieke Hengelaar (in ENGLISH) saying that she would like to know how we could be more a community; especially in The Netherlands, where she is from, she can see that there is a lot of debate about why they should be connected with other Member States and what they have in common.
||Soundbite by G. Tevhir (in ENGLISH) saying that she hopes that this will bring Europe closer to the European citizens, but she thinks that a lot of work remains to be done for that.
||Soundbite by Mareke Gomas (in ENGLISH) saying that she is not sure that this kind of events bring people closer to Europe because when she looks around she is not sure she sees the average citizen of Europe, she sees a lot of students and intellectuals but not all the layers of the European society.
||Soundbite by Ben Crum (in ENGLISH) saying that he is a bit sceptical about this kind of events; he has the feeling that it brings the people who are already quite close to Europe even closer, but that it does not reach out to the real people who need to be reached out to.
||Soundbite by Jan Nedvidek (in ENGLISH) saying that he has been to a few Citizens' Dialogues before, so his expectations were very low; but saying that Viviane Reding was fairly impressive, a very good speaker, so his expectations were actually exceeded.
||Soundbite by Reinder Rustema (in ENGLISH) saying that the reservations he has about Europe are not really within the competence of Viviane Reding or the Commission, it is, as she briefly explained, in the hands of the national Parliaments.
||Soundbite by Khalid Ahmed Chaudry (in ENGLISH) saying that his expectations about the quality of the debate were met; he is satisfied.
||Soundbite by Jan Nedvidek (in ENGLISH) saying that they've only had some more of the federalist ideology, which is not really based on what people want today and which eventually and if pushed forward too much and too quickly, will be responsible for the break up of the Union; saying that in that regard he is not very impressed and he thinks that what he heard during the debate only confirms that the European Lead is so out of touch with what is actually happening in Europe.
||Soundbite by Reinder Rustema (in ENGLISH) saying that to bring Europe closer to the citizens is one of his concerns; one of the big questions he has and that's also the question he asked during the debate is how to conceptualize a European public sphere.
||Soundbite by Jan Nedvidek (in ENGLISH) saying that he thinks that people more easily relay to their national politicians because they know their faces, they know who they are, and they somehow feel more linked and related to them; so whereas he thinks that Citizens' Dialogues are a very good idea, we may want to think whether there are not other ways, better ways how to spend all that money.