On 27 and 28 June 2013, the Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities programme co-organised a conference on European Union citizenship at Corvinus University in Budapest and the Institute for Social and European Studies in Kõszeg.
In her Keynote Address on the first conference day, Dora Kostakopoulou (University of Warwick) re-called the historical evolution of EU citizenship and stressed the potential-enhancing vision embodied in its (co-)creation. While acknowledging persisting shortcomings in the application of the citizenship status, she remained optimistic about its future potential to improve the livelihoods of European citizens. In the panels that followed on both days, participants discussed issues such as political and civic participation in the EU; the link between citizenship and identities, especially for the young generation in a Central and Eastern European context; and the role of vulnerable groups in the EU (Roma and persons with disabilities). Speakers repeatedly emphasized the need to fully exploit the potential of the EU citizenship status to the benefit of various groups of citizens.
The closing debates on both days provided ground for lively exchanges about some of the perceived and real challenges that European Union citizenship and the European integration process more generally are currently faced with, notably from a Central and Eastern Europe perspective. Several speakers called for a renewed dialogue with citizens in search of imaginative ways of re-dynamising EU integration.
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