Future of Europe: Vice-President Reding to debate with citizens in Vilnius
The future of Europe, citizens' rights and the recovery from the economic
crisis are the topics to be discussed at the 41st Citizens' Dialogue (see Annex)
with Vice-President Viviane Reding and 200 citizens in Vilnius which will take
place tomorrow, on 13 December 2013.
"Next May will be an important month for Lithuanians – not only will you
elect a new President, but you will also elect a new European Parliament, making
a choice on the course our Union will take in the coming years," said
Vice-President Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and
"The Dialogue tomorrow will be a unique opportunity to prepare the ground for
these elections by discussing face to face the issues most important for
Lithuanians, issues that will determine the future of the European Union."
Citizens from all over Lithuania will participate in the Vilnius Dialogue
alongside Lithuanian politicians, business leaders and cultural figures.
The Mayor of Vilnius Artu-ras Zuokas will kick off the debate alongside
The Dialogue will be moderated by Edmundas Jakilaitis (national television
The debate will take place on 13 December from 12:00 to 14:00 (11:00 to 13:00
CET) in Vilnius Town Hall followed by a press conference, and it can be followed
live via webstream.
Citizens from all over Europe can also participate via Twitter by using the
hashtag #EUDeb8 and on Facebook.
On the same day, Vice-President Reding will participate in the closing
conference of the 2013 European Year of Citizens, hosted by the Lithuanian
presidency of the Council of the European Union.
What are the Citizens' Dialogues about?
In January, the European Commission kicked off the European Year of Citizens
(IP/13/2), a year dedicated to citizens and their rights.
Throughout the year, members of the Commission have been holding debates with
citizens about their expectations for the future in Citizens' Dialogues all over
So far, 40 Citizens’ Dialogues have already taken place across the European
Union, with a Commissioner present on each occasion.
A total of more than 50 such meetings are planned (see annex), all attended
by national and European politicians.
Follow all the dialogues here:
A lot has been achieved in the twenty years since the introduction of EU
a recent Eurobarometer survey shows that 65 % of Lithuanians feel European
(62% on average for EU citizens).
However, only 52% say that they know what rights EU citizenship brings.
At the same time 58% of Lithuanians would like to know more about their
rights as EU citizens.
This is why the Commission has made 2013 the European Year of Citizens, a
year dedicated to citizens and their rights.
The Citizens' Dialogues have been at the heart of this year.
Why is the Commission doing this now?
Because Europe is at a crossroads.
The coming months and years will be decisive for the future course of the
European Union, with many voices talking about moving towards political union, a
Federation of Nation States or a United States of Europe.
Furthermore, European integration must go hand in hand with strengthening the
Union's democratic legitimacy.
Giving citizens a direct voice in this debate is therefore more important
What will be the outcome of the Dialogues?
The feedback from citizens during the Dialogues will help guide the
Commission as it draws up plans for a future reform of the EU.
One of the main purposes of the dialogues will also be to prepare the ground
for the 2014 European elections.
On 8 May 2013 the European Commission published its second EU Citizenship
Report, which puts forward 12 new concrete measures to solve problems citizens
still have (IP/13/410 and MEMO/13/409).
The Citizens' Report is the Commission's answer to a major online
consultation held from May 2012 (IP/12/461) and the questions raised and
suggestions made in Citizens' Dialogues on EU citizens' rights and their future.