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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Vice-President Reding participated in a Citizens' Dialogue in Barcelona

EC

For over a year, Citizens' Dialogues have been taking place across Europe. On 23 February the debate came to Barcelona. Vice-President Viviane Reding debated with around 250 citizens in the "La Pedrera" in Barcelona. It was a passionate debate with Viviane Reding stating: "I don't want to lose Catalonia!".

Many questions focused on the impact of the economic crisis on citizen's lives with Vice-President Reding explaining that Europe is overcoming the crisis. "Europe's strategy of 'solidarity for solidity' is delivering," she said. "Member States' far-reaching and often painful reforms are starting to pay off. Recovery is in sight. Spain successfully exited the financial assistance programme on 23 January 2014 and can now borrow from private investors at the lowest rates in years.

Asked about the number of foreclosures that have taken place in Spain since the start of the crisis, with people being evicted from their houses, Vice-President Reding said that this was "shocking" and explained how EU law can act as a safety net: "European law has protected the vulnerable consumer against the sometimes inhumane, casino mentality of banks. The European Court of Justice ruled on 13 March 2013 that the Spanish law on Consumer Protection did not meet the standards required by EU law, and did not sufficiently protect the consumers.

Asked about the situation in Catalonia, Vice-President Reding made reference to her personal attachment to Catalonia, saying "I love Catalonia!" and told the audience "I don't want to lose you."  Read her full remarks here

The Dialogue took place on 23rd February from18.00 to 20.00 in the Auditorium of one of Barcelona's most famous buildings, "La Pedrera" (Passeig de Gràcia, 92). Citizens from all over Europe could also participate via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #EUDeb8 and #RedingBCN.