The Commission has proposed that 2013 shall be “The European Year of Citizens“.
I already find “European Years” in general a quite ridiculous concept, but this one is plainly, and I excuse my choice of words, stupid. If a European Year is meant to do something, then to focus the attention on something that deserves more attention, something public authorities do not care about so much and thus want to have a year of particular focus.
Thus, having a European Year of Citizens is like saying: “We don’t care for citizens and their rights enough, we know. However, we will do a one year PR-exercise – and all measures of this European Year are plain PR measures – to pretend we actually do care and so for the next 20 years, when ignoring citizens, we will say: Hey, you got a full year of attention, now go back to your caves!”
And what is the best sign that the proposal for this year is totally useless? In the discussions in the Council, only two minor amendments in one recital are proposed to be added to the Commission draft. If member states have nothing to complain about, it means that this year will leave them unaffected.
So if member states who are the ones responsible for most violations in regard to EU citizenship rights have nothing to fear from this year, it shows the Commission has made a super-weak proposal. It would thus be better to call it a European Year of Good Intentions but No Consequence.
Or, and that’s what I’d expect from public institutions anyway, make EVERY year a European Year of Citizens!