On the way to Oslo
On Monday Vice-President Viviane Reding participated in the Nobel Peace Prize award giving ceremony in Oslo.
Vice-President Reding said: "The Nobel Peace Prize has come just in time for the European Union. It is good that we are reminded by our fellow Europeans in Oslo of the fact that the European Union has always been first and foremost a peace project founded in values - and it must remain this way. We received the award today not only because of the success of economic integration in Europe, but mainly because of the democratic and constitutional nature of the European unification process."
Next year, 2013, will be the European Year of Citizens – a year dedicated to you and your rights as European citizens. Throughout the year, Vice-President Reding and her fellow Commissioners will be joining forces with national and local politicians to hold debates with citizens all across Europe – to listen to them and answer their questions. This work will help guide the Commission's discussions on the future architecture of the European Union and will feed into the next citizenship report which will be published in May 2013. Find out how you can get involved in the debate here.
Vice-President Viviane Reding said: "The award today by the Nobel Committee shows that in these difficult times the European Union remains an inspiration for countries and people all over the world and that the international community needs a strong European Union. After all that has been achieved, Europe now has the chance to develop even further, into a strong political union. For this, we need to be more united than ever. The European Year of the Citizen 2013 is the ideal occasion to debate with citizens about their expectations for the Europe of the future. We need to have the courage and patience for institutional reform. We need to have the courage and the patience to live up to what is expected of us."
Vice-President Reding has already outlined her vision of a post-crisis Europe in a five point plan for 2020 here.