EU Citizenship: 12 new actions to boost citizens’ rights
The Commission is working to make EU citizenship a reality in people's daily lives. The 2013 EU Citizenship Report published today sets out 12 new concrete ways to help Europeans make better use of their EU rights, from looking for a job in another EU country to ensuring stronger participation in the democratic life of the Union. Coming during the European Year of Citizens, it is the Commission's answer to calls from citizens about problems experienced when travelling, moving to or shopping in another EU country.
- looking into increasing workers' mobility by extending the right of jobseekers to receive unemployment benefits from their home country while they are looking for a job in another EU country;
- facilitating the acceptance of identity and residence documents when citizens want to travel;
- developing an EU disability card to be mutually recognised across the EU;
- developing an online tool that makes the purchase of digital products more transparent and that allows citizens to compare deals cross-border.
"Today's Citizenship Report places EU citizens centre stage," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, describing EU citizenship as "the crown jewel of European integration. It is to Political Union what the euro is to our Economic and Monetary Union."
Meanwhile, another two reports – one on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and one on progress towards Gender Equality – also published on Wednesday highlight progress made in enforcing citizens' rights in the area of gender equality and fundamental rights.
The Annual Fundamental Rights Report, covering 2012, gives a comprehensive overview of how fundamental rights have been implemented in the EU over the past year. The Annual Progress Report on Gender Equality finds that while women represent a growing share of the EU workforce and are increasingly the main breadwinners for their families, their share is still much lower than that of working men.