See below for photographs from our very successful 'European Citizens' Gathering'. We are in the process of preparing an eBook with contributions from the day. Watch this space for more information.
[Photo credits to Elena Remigi and Louise Regan]
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We are European Citizens. This European citizens’ gathering will be an opportunity for those engaged or interested in campaigning efforts directed towards upholding and defending the rights of all European citizens in the context of Brexit to engage, converse, cooperate and plan future initiatives. A key aim is to encourage a creative dialogue on the issues associated with European citizenship and the potential loss of rights and proections associated with it.
The decision to leave the European Union and the processes now underway to achieve a Brexit deal have generated structural, institutional and personal problems for three million non-UK EU citizens resident in the UK. Uncertainty abounds and many feel as if they are trapped in a state of ‘limbo’. Largely ignored during the referendum campaign itself, the fate of the ‘three million’ has edged its way into political discourse and has become an object of concern and comment in the media. At the same time, UK citizens are to be stripped of European citizenship, and the rights and opportunities it affords.
Meanwhile, there are growing concerns about the sentiments and attitudes behind the ‘Leave’ vote, with accumulating evidence that xenophobia and racism were key drivers. A worrying spike in racially motivated incidents has been registered and many people now feel that parts of Britain are no longer welcoming or safe place for them and their families.
With Brexit negotiations under way, the UK government has tabled a Repeal Bill that proposes to dispense with a number of fundamental protections. From scrapping free movement, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and associated legislation, to prematurely excluding British national from the category of ‘European Citizens’, the Prime Minister and her Brexit team have shown themselves to be set on a course of withdrawing rights and protections afforded to UK residents. These changes will have substantial negative consequences for all of us: from children and families to trade unions and workers.
European Citizens’ Gathering
The Retaining European Citizenship initiative and the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham have teamed up to host this gathering. The main component of the day will be a series of workshops and discussions organised by groups, organisations and individuals working on or conducting research on rights in the wake of Brexit. The gathering will be bracketed by plenary sessions to introduce and orientate the day and then to summarise and plan further work.
Already confirmed as attending are:
Marina Pentroulis, University of East Anglia and spokesperson for Another Europe is Possible | Suresh Grover and Jagdish Patel from The Monitoring Group | Andreas Bieler, University of Nottingham | Amelia Womack, founder of Green Yes and Deputy Leader of the Green Party | Matt Carr and One Day Without Us | Louise King, The Childrens’ Rights Alliance for England | Elena Remigi, editor of In Limbo | Tony Simpson, Retaining European Citizenship | Claudia Delpero, editor of Europe Street News | Elizabeth Monaghan, University of Hull
We expect to confirm speakers and workshops from trade unions and associated campaigns in the very near future.
Call for workshops
We invite groups, organisations and individuals to propose workshops/discussions that fit with the general theme of the gathering. There are a limited number of slots available and we encourage you to submit proposals as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event will take place in rooms at Highfield House (Graduate School/Centre for Advanced Studies), University Park, University of Nottingham between 10.30am and 5pm on Saturday 18th November.
The University of Nottingham is located close to the M1 (Junction 25) and has excellent public transport provision (bus and tram from Railway Station).
A registration fee of £5 waged and £3 unwaged will apply and we encourage donations above these amounts. To book your place, visit https://billetto.co.uk/e/standing-up-for-our-rights-european-citizens-gathering-tickets-212354