This blog is hosted on Ideas on EuropeIdeas on Europe Avatar

The European Year of Citizens 2013: What are the other years?

6 comments

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!



6 Responses to The European Year of Citizens 2013: What are the other years?

  1. avatar Macarena says:

    I am quite agree with your general raisoning on the European Years concept but I also think it is something to remind us many topics. I am going to try to explain my point: it is like the World Day of AIDS. Of cours, there is (unhopefully) AIDS disease cases every single day, however it is a way to raise awareness on it. I guess the EU intends to do the same with the European Years so why not? Of course, I understand the “citizens year” concept could sound ridicouls, indeed, because we’re European citizens every day. In times of crisis, to remind us that we have to overpass the crisis together, as European citizens, it seems to me not a bad idea….

  2. avatar Ronny Patz says:

    But this a bureaucratic PR concept without any impact, without any ambition – that won’t help to overcome the crisis, to stand together etc. These European Years are pretending to do something instead of doing something.

  3. avatar Macarena says:

    I agree. But let me ask you something, what would you propose instead? At least, these years intend to do something…

  4. avatar Aymeric L says:

    I don’t criticise these European years in general. Sometimes such Years are usefull to highlight a specific problem when the EU doesn’t have a big influence on the issue.
    Ex: Volunteering (2011). Well, what should we expect from the EU to promote volunteering? Directives? More funding? No. Volunteering just requires volunteers!

    A Year for European citizens is something else. Plenty of EU laws are needed to make the EU democratic: laws to democratise the election of EU “presidents”, laws to democratise the nomination of national representatives in the Council / Coreper, law establishing European referenda of popular initiative, laws on the right to vote in national elections of all EU citizens, etc.

    Comparing citizens with aids-sick people doesn’t make sense at all. Citizens are not a group of people or a problem. They are Europe. They are the source of any legitimacy in Europe. Europe shouldn’t exist without them. Period.

    The EU is supposed to be a democracy. Making 2013 the Year of citizens is not only accepting that it is not, it also means that the EU is comfortable with the fact that it’s not democratic. It’s completely sick.

  5. avatar NK says:

    Excellent idea!
    The more such proposals the sooner the store edifice will come down.

  6. avatar Aymeric L says:

    What’s your proposal NK ?

Subscribe to a fortnightly email featuring posts from Ideas on Europe hosted blogs

UACES and Ideas on Europe do not take responsibility for opinions expressed in articles on blogs hosted on Ideas on Europe. All opinions are those of the contributing authors.