It’s about us, it’s about Europe: EYCA’s final report on active citizenship is out!

15 December 2013

The European Year of Citizens 2013 closed with a conference which took place on 12-13 December in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event has been organised by the European Commission in close cooperation with the European Year of Citizens Alliance (EYCA) and the Lithuanian Presidency.

EDF was represented by its Vice President, Gunta Anca, who underlined how important it is for persons with disabilities to be active citizens and to have equal access in society. ‘Persons with disabilities were for so long excluded from participating in society and therefore in the policy making processes. Times have changed for the better now but the different ways and modes for citizens with disabilities to influence the policy making processes have to be accessible. That is why the proposal on the accessibility of public bodies websites has to be adopted by the Parliament and the Council’, said Gunta Anca.

IT’S ABOUT US, IT’S ABOUT EUROPE

During the conference, EYCA presented its final report with its recommendations towards EU institutions, EU Member States and other stakeholders. The report was based on a collective work during the European Year of Citizens 2013, including more than 100 representatives of 80 national and European civil society organisations from 27 countries.

The recommendations focus on:

  • reinforcing participatory democracy in Europe

The EU institutions and the Member States should ensure that civil society organisations are involved on an equal footing with other stakeholders at all levels of decision making.

The EU institutions should improve the quality of interaction and communication between citizens and the European institutions by making information and documents accessible and available.

  • ensuring equality and non-discrimination throughout the whole EU territory

Members states should finalise negotiations without further delay, on the European commission proposal of 2008 for a Council Directive on protecting equal treatment outside employment.

  • guaranteeing access to public administration and justice

Member States should ensure accessible and effective access to justice for every individual, during all stages of the judicial process. In addition, all information and communication processes regarding legal rights, legal aid and judicial proceedings should be accessible to all. Sign language interpretation and information in Braille should be available for all participants in the justice system.

  • enhancing the right to free movement:

The EU institutions should review the Regulation on the coordination of social security systems to incorporate the needs of vulnerable, marginalized and excluded groups. Implementation guidelines and training opportunities for local authorities should focus on the needs of specific groups;

EU institutions should adopt the proposed European Accessibility Act in order to further ensure access to goods and services for all citizens with disabilities;

EU institutions should ensure that the Member States respect the Directive on Free Movement 2004/38 and the principle of equal treatment to ensure that all EU citizens exercise their rights to free movement.

  • ensuring that all citizens residing in Europe can vote

Member states should remove legal restrictions which prevent citizens with disabilities from exercising their legal and political rights including the right to vote.

More information

EYCA Alliance 2013 : It's about Us, It's about Europe!

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