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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Making citizens’ lives easier

Justice

Reaching out to citizens

Factsheet (published December 2010) pdf - 71 KB [71 KB] Deutsch (de) français (fr)

Information to citizens and businesses

Joana, a certified physiotherapist from Romania, lives in Manchester with Robert, who is English. She would like to work and she wonders how to have her Romanian qualification recognised in the UK. Should she turn to the authorities in the United Kingdom, or the ones in Romania, or both? Are there European authorities who could provide her with the information she needs?

Which action(s) did the 2010 EU Citizenship Report foresee?

  • To develop the Your Europe web portal into a one-stop-shop information point on the rights of citizens and businesses in the EU, easy to use and accessible via the web and via a free phone number. It will provide clear and practical information.
  • To streamline networks in the Member States so that citizens easily find the right contact point at national, regional and local level. The Commission's Representations in the Member States, together with the 500 Europe Direct information centres, will improve the promotion of citizens' rights by 2012 through better cooperation and interaction with existing EU-level assistance and problem-solving services.

What progress has been made?

  • Promotion of a "One-stop shop" (Your Europe portal and Europe Direct services) is ongoing. Most content is now available in 22 languages.
  • Legal advice is offered by "Your Europe Advice". Content is now available in all official European languages.
  • Each page in the portal leads to further help and advice by the relevant networks (eg. EURES for help finding a job in another EU country, European Consumer Centres for help solving cross-border consumer disputes, Your Europe Advice for legal advice, and so on.)
  • In the future, each page will also lead to information on how to complete administrative formalities in each Member State. This phase requires the cooperation of Member States to be completed.

Strengthening citizens' awareness of their EU rights

Two out of three EU citizens (67% of respondents) to a Eurobarometer survey indicated that they are “not well informed” or “not informed at all” about their rights as EU citizens. Another 72% say they would like to know more about their rights as EU citizens.

Which action(s) did the 2010 EU Citizenship Report foresee?

  • To strengthen citizens' awareness of their EU citizenship status, their rights and their meaning in their daily lives by proposing the designation of 2013 as the European Year of Citizens and by organising targeted events on EU citizenship and citizen-related EU policies during this Year
  • To make it simpler for EU citizens and stakeholders to use the financial support the Commission provides for the development of EU citizenship, by exploiting synergies among the available EU funding instruments and rationalisation.

What progress has been made?

  • A proposal to make 2013 the European Year of Citizens was put forward on 11 August 2011. It is currently being discussed by the Council and the European Parliament.
  • Proposals for simplified "Rights and Citizenship " programme have been adopted by the Commission. A proposal for a simplified "Europe for Citizens " programme has been adopted. These will be discussed in the European Council and by European Parliament.

Euronews

Lauriane has decided to spend six months in South America, as a volunteer for an NGO. Unfortunately, the local media there pay little attention to the European affairs in which she is very interested. National facts happening in European countries may be covered whereas European policies are completely neglected. Euronews is the right tool for her.

Which action(s) did the 2010 EU Citizenship Report foresee?

  • To explore ways to further strengthen information on European policies, characterised by independent, professional and high-quality reporting.
  • To explore options for a more sustainable financing of Euronews.
  • To explore options for launching new languages by 2013.

What progress has been made?

  • New programmes on EU affairs launched spring 2011.
  • Opening of Euronews' Brussels studio took place on 14 June 2011.

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