by michael rogers

A high 72% on average of people living in the EU see themselves as in some way “European citizens” - even higher figures are apparent among the young, whilst in the most euro-skeptical countries the average is still over half of the population. This average has increased overtime and was reflected in the increased turnout in the European elections of May 2019. Freedom of movement of people within the EU appears consistently as the most popular of the EU’ s achievements. Practice of a more social and environmental European citizenship is apparent at local level and should be better connected and scaled up. The number of people living and working permanently in another EU Member State has doubled in the last decade to reach 18 million and millions more are experiencing Europe and networking across borders.

The 2020 Summer University, like its previous editions, will bring together civil society activists, researchers and EU policy makers together to build consensus about how to support and develop this first transnational citizenship of the modern era. The aim is to put EU citizenship more firmly on the agenda of each of these groups and help forge a degree of consensus among them. 

    Key questions will be debated:

  • How to explain European citizenship  to the general public so that it captures the popular imagination?
  • How to help overcome sharp divisions of opinion about Europe by making EU citizenship as relevant to those who stay at home as to those on the move?
  • why when more and more young people identify with European citizenship is this concept taken for granted and lacking champions and an agenda in the EU Institutions?
  • What are the boundaries of European citizenship?
  • Could new political, social and environmental rights be added to EU citizenship?

A longer event is planned for 2020 with a wider variety of topics and workshops by partner organisations in order to attract a lager public. ECIT will be seeking out partner organisations and encouraging them to organise their own workshops during the summer university. ECIT and partner organisations hope to be able to offer scholarships schemes to cover part of the travel and hotel costs of young people who want to participate.

September 2020 will be one year on from the start of a new European Parliament, the appointment of a new Commission, the debate on its new report on Union citizenship and the putting in place of new programmes such as that on “citizens, equality, rights and values,” ERASMUS and research. The right time therefore to put European citizenship on the agenda!

See https://ecit-foundation.eu/summer-university-2020 for more, or even think about attending?

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