IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright notice.
No 9 (October 97/Octobre 97/Oktober 97)
The next phase of the Citizens First initiative will be launched towards the end of November. It covers three new themes of great interest to people - Buying Goods and Services in the Single Market, Travelling in another EU country, and Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men.
Each theme will have its own guide, several million copies of which will be available in 19 different national/language versions. Each guide will be amplified by national factsheets which explain in detail how citizens can use and enforce their rights in each Member State - and each of these factsheets will be translated into all 11 official languages of the Union.
There will be a major publicity and media campaign in all 15 Member States to advertise the initiative. This will be supported by many projects organised by non-governmental bodies. Citizens will be able to order guides and factsheets by calling the national Citizens First telephone line (see box). Their orders will be sent by post. All guides and factsheets will be on the special Citizens First internet site at http://citizens.eu.int (part of the europa server).
In addition, the Citizens First Signpost Service will be available to help
people when they have difficulties in knowing how to exercise their rights.
Typically the service will give people details of the appropriate points of
contact at European, national or local level. The Signpost Service has been
open since 1996, and questions can be put simply by using the telephone line or
by Internet. These questions from citizens are important because they give the
Commission a direct "feedback" about the practical problems which people face
when using their EU rights.
Two new initiatives are being prepared.
The Single Market Action Plan adopted at the Amsterdam Summit in June
provides for the establishment of a permanent Dialogue with Citizens. This will
build on the experience of the last two years in order to provide citizens with
clear information on their rights in Europe and its Single Market. The
intention is that this will not only increase awareness of EU rights but also
sustain it over the longer term, thus improving the functioning of the Single
Market in a lasting way.
The provision of better access to the right information for business is another important commitment in the Single Market Action Plan. Planning is now underway to design a Business Signpost Service based on the concept of "signposting" in Citizens First. The idea is not to create new information, but to create a "one stop shop" where businesses can be guided to the correct network or body to provide them with the information they need on Single Market issues. At the moment it is envisaged that this will be an Internet-based service, closely tied into the existing Euro Info Centres and other networks.
TEL: (+32 2) 296 70 01
FAX: (+32 2) 296 09 50