Euranet Plus, the leading radio network for EU news, hosted a “Citizens’ Corner” live debate on the “awareness of EU citizenship status and EU citizens’ rights” at the European Parliament in Brussels on November 5, 2014. The debate was jointly produced by Euranet Plus and MTVA, Hungary, member of the Euranet Plus network, and was moderated by journalist Balázs Náray from MTVA (in Hungarian) and Brian Maguire from the Euranet Plus News Agency in Brussels (in English).

The debate also featured students from the Euranet Plus campus radio network (Zaneta Czyżniewska, Kampus Radio, Warsaw, Poland; Raymond Fustos, UBB Online Radio, Cluj, Romania).

The debate was broadcast live at the top of this web page and can be viewed on-demand in two parts on YouTube, one for each language on our YouTube channel.

Part 1 | Hungarian | 12h30 – 13h15 CET | moderator Balázs Náray | guests:
  • Andor DELI, MEP, Hungary, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), EPP website
  • Tamás MESZERICS, MEP, Hungary, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Facebook
  • György SCHÖPFLIN, MEP, Hungary, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), website      
  • Pál CSÁKY, MEP, Slovakia, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), website
  • High-resolution press photos of this part of the debate on Flickr
  • Video recording of this part of the debate on YouTube

Part 2 | English | 13h15 – 14h00 CET | moderator Brian Maguire | guests:
  • Danuta HÜBNER, MEP, Poland, Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), website
  • Mercedes BRESSO, MEP, Italy, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, website
  • Kostas CHRYSOGONOS, MEP, Greece, Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left, GUE/NGL website
  • Julia REDA, MEP, Germany, Vice-Chair of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, website
  • High-resolution press photos of this part of the debate on Flickr
  • Video recording of this part of the debate on YouTube

After the debate, we posted regular audios and features on our social media channels to bring the topic closer to our guests, fans and listeners. Also during the debate our fans were invited to post their questions to our guests and moderators and we tried to mention at least some of them.

Hungarian part: Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights

Hungarian part: Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights

English part: Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights

English part: Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights

Interiews after the debate on the awareness of citizens about their #EURights (with English transcripts)
  • MEP Mercedes Bresso demanding to simplify the use of EU citizens’ rights (in French)
    Mercedes (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament) told Euranet Plus after the Citizens’ Corner debate of November 5, 2014:”I think that what the European Union must do now is to make easier the use of these rights but also to make them better known. Not only to make them better known in the sense of ‘you have the right to that and that’, but really how you should proceed in order to really exercise these rights.And about that we will see in different Committees in order to better work with the new Commissioners, with the Prime Vice-president Timmermans who took the engagement to simplify the Union.And it is not about to make a simpler legislation, but to simplify the concrete use of these rights.For example, it is still difficult for many citizens of the European Union to get respected their right to free movement for working reasons. Let’s say that the freedom of movement is very respected when it is about the tourism reasons, for studies etc.For working reasons, it is less respected, because this right is impeached by the difficulty to have a place to live, and it is no parity in relation with this.

    Sometimes it is about the right to vote on local elections. Sometimes it is about the wealth care rights, respected partially. You have the right to be treated, but only in case of emergency, but you have not the right to choose where you can be treated, because it is no clearing between the member states.

    So, I think that many of these rights are only on paper. And above all, the fundamental right to democracy is not respected in all Europe countries, and Europe has not the courage to make it respected.”

  • MEP Pál Csáky being glad citizens of Slovakia are in European family
    Pál Csáky, Slovakia, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), told Euranet Plus after the Citizens’ Corner debate of November 5, 2014:”I think the best thing is that citizens of Slovakia are in the European family. That is a mental question too.Secondly, the European legislature is influencing the legislative process also in my country, due the compatibility of laws is a very important question.Generally, I think that is a very good influence for the citizens, for the day by day life of the citizens of my country, Slovakia.We are interested in a very good relation between Hungary and Slovakia and in the European Union it is, practically, a day by day practice.So, both countries, both governments, both regional or local self governing bodies, are able to cooperate better in the European Union than in other structures.

    So, that is again a positive influence for the day by day life of our citizens”.

  • MEP Andor Deli explaining EU citizenship is like cap on top of national citizenship
    Andor Deli, Hungary, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), said after the Citizens’ Corner debate of November 5:”I think the European citizenship is in itself a very particular specific notion and I think that is a very good supplement to the national citizenships at home.Because it creates a kind of cap that is belonging to everybody in Europe, so for Hungarians, for Romanians, for all other people all over the European Union.So everybody has a certain national citizenship and has a European cap above of that.And the European citizenship is the personal connection between the European Union and the citizen, the single person.The citizenship and the promotion of the citizenship are very important to make people realize what are the benefits.

    For example, the free movement of workers across the whole Union, or the mutual consular help when you are abroad …

    Or the Erasmus project …

    So, all this stuff is very good and very important for the everyday citizen.”

  • MEP György Schöpflin explaining EU freedom of movement also leads to brain drain in Hungary
    György Schöpflin, Hungary, Group of the European People’s Party, after the Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights held on Wednesday, November 5, 2014, told Euranet Plus:”I would say, what is turned out to be the most important is the freedom of movement.The possibility for Hungarians to move into another European Union countries, take up work … and the actual concrete evidence is if you go to London, or Germany, Berlin, you hear a lot of Hungarian spoken.By the way, it is the same for Romanians, going to Italy and Spain.Some of you go to UK or Germany.So, in a way, it is a very serious problem, because it means that on one hand, the single market is working.

    It is to say that it is a labour hand shortage in the EU 15, the old member states.

    On the other hand, we are losing population. Including, to some extent, our own skilled population.

    It is very difficult. I just read the other day about a particular case of a woman who was a teacher for children with special needs in Bulgaria and she was earning three times more by working as a cleaner in London. That’s not right. It seems to me that’s a misuse of skills.

    But how do we go about it, what we will do. That’s much more difficult to resolve.”

Citizens’ Corner debates: Bringing the European Union closer to citizens

According to the Flash Eurobarometer 365 „European Union Citizenship Report” (download as PDF) released in February 2013, 81 percent of respondents know they are EU citizens on top of their own nationality. 36 percent (5 percent more than in a study of 2007) feel well informed about what their rights as EU citizenship mean.

The respondents seemed aware of most of their EU citizenship rights, including petitioning the EU institutions (89 percent), free movement (88 percent), nationality based non-discrimination (82 percent), consular protection (79 percent) and participating in a Citizens’ Initiative (73 percent).

Unfortunately, only 24 percent of respondents considered themselves to be well informed about what to do if their European Union rights are not respected.

On the other hand, 2013 was designated as the European Year of Citizens. The European Commission directly engaged with citizens from different countries in dialogues held in many places around the Union. “The 2010 EU Citizenship Report” (download as PDF) proposed “25 Key Actions to Improve Citizens’ Lives”. After that “The 2013 EU Citizenship Report” (download as PDF) came with 12 new actions in six key areas backed by the European Commission to remove more and more obstacles for the EU citizens to fully enjoy their rights.

The Your Europe web portal in all EU languages is a good tool for the citizens. In its areas for citizens, the portal tries to offer help and advice for EU nationals and their family about work and retirement, travel, vehicles, residence formalities, education and youth, health, family and consumers.

For people with entrepreneurial ideas and businesses, Your Europe Business offers real practical guides to do business in Europe in terms of starting and growing a business, VAT and  customs, selling abroad, staff, product requirements, public contracts and environmental standards.

The Europe Direct information centres are another good tool for citizens’ requests for information at local, regional and national level.

In light of these offers by the European instituions, the Citizens’ Corner debate on November will try to find answers to the following questions

  • How could the EU institutions and the EU member states provide easily accessible on-line information to citizens on their EU rights? 
  • How effective is the Your Europe web portal, launched some years ago, to raise people’s awareness of EU citizenship status and EU citizens’ rights? 
  • How can the access to information on EU matters at national and local level be improved for every single European citizen? 
  • Are the Europe Direct information centres enough to answer the requests for information at local, regional and national level from EU citizens? 
  • Which are the best ways to strengthen citizens’ awareness of EU citizenship status and citizens’ rights and their meaning in citizens’ daily lives? 
  • In how far were the dialogues between the members of the European Commission and the citizens in different cities around Europe during the 2013 European Year of Citizens useful and did they increase the awareness of EU citizenship? 
  • The awareness is growing about EU-guaranteed rights, but people want to know more. What can their expectations be fulfilled?
Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights

Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights in Hungarian and English on November 5, 2014

About the “Citizens’ Corner” debates: Understanding Europe better

With the aim of getting as close as possible to the concerns of EU citizens and inspired by the “The 2010 EU Citizenship Report”, the “25 Key Actions to Improve Citizens’ Lives”, “The 2013 EU Citizenship Report”, along with the 12 new actions in six key areas put forward by the European Commission to further remove obstacles standing in the way of citizens’ enjoyment of their EU rights, euranetplus organizes monthly debates under the heading of “Citizens’ Corner”. The aim is to provide information on the rights enjoyed by EU citizens, and also to reveal gaps which may remain between the applicable rules and regulations and the reality of citizens’ daily lives, particularly in cross-border situations. The debates provide the opportunity for open dialogue, contributing to new insights between all those involved.

About the Euranet Plus network of radios: The leading radio network for EU news

The most powerful radio network in Europe. Eeuranet Plus is a pan-European network of 15 leading radio stations – public and private – across the European Union. Euranet Plus reaches over 20 million listeners daily with its EU related content broadcasted on-air.

Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights in Hungarian and English on November 5, 2014

Citizens’ Corner debate on EU citizens’ rights in Hungarian and English on November 5, 2014

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.