European Year of Citizens 2013
Since 1983, the European Union has been promoting the society-wide discussion on important topics of European politics. This year will be devoted to European citizenship.
The citizenship of the Union was enshrined in the primary law by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. One of the main advantages of the European citizenship is the right to freedom of movement and residency perceived by the citizens in member states as one of the main benefits of European integration. Increasing number of citizens of the Member States benefits from the right to travel, reside, study, work or run a business freely in other Member States.
The rights associated with the European citizenship still offer an unused potential. Public opinion polls reveal that the part of population considering working or settling in other member states is much larger than the portion of population actually making use of and benefiting from these advantages. The facts deterring them from this idea are, in general, alleged bureaucratic obstacles and other barriers, including the lack of information, frequently cited by respondents.
The European Year of Citizens will be, in principle, made up of a broad information campaign, carried out by the European Commission, complemented by the activities of the member states. The European Year of Citizens in the Czech Republic is being administered by the European Affairs Department of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, which intends to use this year for organizing seminars, conferences, competitions and other events designed to familiarize the participants with the potential of European citizenship and with the possibilities of using the rights associated with the given institutes.
Also, a National Forum on the Future of Europe will be organized in the framework of the European Year 2013. The Forum presents the official series of conferences and round tables organized under auspices of the European Affairs Section of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic. Before the European Council meeting taking place in June 2013, 2 conferences and 3 round tables will take place in Prague and Brno, the capitals of historic provinces of Bohemia and Moravia. The heart of debates should focus on current EU issues, reflecting priorities of European Year of Citizens 2013. The democratic legitimacy of institutions, development of economic and monetary union and potential of internal market also fall into this scope.
The Office of the Government took over the European Year on the 11th of December from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which was the administrator of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in 2012.
Types of events organized in the European Year 2013
- Practical information for citizens (seminars for the public)
- Active involvement of Czech citizens (surveys, contests, dialogue)
- Cultural events for citizens (movie festival, exhibitions, cultural and educational events)
- Specialized discussions (conferences, seminars)
Office of the Government of the Czech Republic
National contact point for the European Year of Citizens
The Head of the European Affairs Information Department
Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic
Contact person for the European Year of Citizens