Retaining European Citizenship - A European Citizens' Initiative
Retaining European Citizenship - A European Citizens' Initiative

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PRESS RELEASE

9 June 2017

 

YOUNG VOTERS SPIKE BREXIT?

 

‘Public repudiation of Mrs May’s invitation to “strengthen” her hand in Brexit negotiations was plain to see on university campuses,’ said Tony Simpson, representative of the Retaining European Citizenship initiative,* speaking in Nottingham. ‘Students queued to vote for other parties.’

 

‘Thanks to the sustained efforts of the NUS and others, registration of young voters leapt by 20 per cent between the 2015 general election and the EU referendum in 2016,’ said Mr Simpson. ‘It increased again in the run-up to the snap 2017 election, with turnout among 18 to 24 year olds reckoned to have soared from 43 per cent in 2015 to 72 per cent in 2017.’

 

‘As Malia Bouattia, President of the UK National Union Students, emphasises, 750,000 more 18-year-olds -- who were too young to have their say in the EU referendum -- were able to vote yesterday, finally getting their voices heard on Brexit,’ he said.

 

‘She rightly says international students are a vibrant part of our communities, but the impact of Brexit and regressive Home Office policies make the UK an increasingly unattractive place to study.’

‘What to do next?’ asked Mr Simpson. ‘All European citizens aged 18 and over (16 in Austria) are eligible to endorse the Retaining European Citizenship initiative. Access to education and freedom of movement and residence around the European Union are currently ours by right as citizens. Why put them at risk?’

 

 BACKGROUND

*The Retaining European Citizenship Initiative proposes:

‘To uphold the right of Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of Member States under objective conditions of freedom and dignity (Directive 2004/38/EC), and to safeguard citizens of the Union from use as bargaining chips in negotiations under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, requests the Commission submit a proposal to retain the rights of EU citizenship for all those who have already exercised their freedom of movement prior to the departure of a Member State leaving the Union, and for those nationals of a departing State who wish to retain their status as citizens of the Union.’

Endorse the initiative here:

https://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/31/public/index.do

European citizens’ initiatives (ECI) allow one million EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies, by calling on the European Commission to make a legislative proposal.

More information: www.eucitizen2017.org

PRESS RELEASE                                      28/04/2017

MAY DAY CALL TO ONE MILLION EUROPEAN CITIZENS

Every worker in the European Union has basic rights at work, said Tony Simpson, Representative of the Retaining European Citizenship Initiative, speaking in Nottingham.

These rights include equal opportunities for women and men, protection against discrimination, health and safety at work, and rights in labour law on such matters as working hours and employment of young people.

Rights at work, often derived from European law, figure prominently in discussions about Brexit, said Mr Simpson. The UK government claims they will be preserved after Brexit, while trade unionists rightly argue that rights at work not only need buttressing against those who would jettison them, but that they also need extending to take account of new developments. Already, the European Commission is revisiting discussions about the Social Charter and Social Europe, which gave rise to many of these rights at work in the first place.

Our rights as European Citizens encompass rights at work, said Mr Simpson. But they also extend more widely into other areas of life. Most fundamentally, as European citizens we all enjoy the right to move around and reside in 28 member states of the European Union in freedom and dignity. Thus, a new generation of young workers has been educated, grown up and found work across Europe. Their rights as European citizens have encouraged this mobility, while their rights at work protect them from exploitation and harmful working practices.

 

It is in this spirit that, on May Day 2017, we invite trade unionists to endorse our European Citizens Initiative entitled Retaining European Citizenship. We need one million endorsements in one year as we have this one chance of safeguarding workers and their families from being used as bargaining chips. 

 

BACKGROUND

On Tuesday 2 May 2017, the European Commission will publish its decision to register the Retaining European Citizenship Initiative, which proposes:

‘To uphold the right of Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of Member States under objective conditions of freedom and dignity (Directive 2004/38/EC), and to safeguard citizens of the Union from use as bargaining chips in negotiations under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, requests the Commission submit a proposal to retain the rights of EU citizenship for all those who have already exercised their freedom of movement prior to the departure of a Member State leaving the Union, and for those nationals of a departing State who wish to retain their status as citizens of the Union.’

 

The Commission’s decision will be published here:

http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/welcome  

European citizens’ initiatives (ECI) allow one million EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies, by calling on the European Commission to make a legislative proposal.

The ‘Retaining European Citizenship’ Initiative is due to open for public signature later in May. More details at:

 

www.eucitizen2017.org

 

PRESS RELEASE                                                                      30 March 2017

 

After Brexit, will UK citizens become ‘third-country nationals’?

 

 

The European Commission has indicated that, after Brexit is complete, UK citizens resident in one of the then 27 Member States of the European Union may have the status of ‘third-country nationals’ in those States.

 

At present, UK citizens are also citizens of the European Union with the right to reside in all Member States. If the UK leaves the EU, as proposed, then automatic European citizenship will cease.

 

The Commission’s decision was notified when it registered the proposed European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) entitled ‘Retaining European Citizenship’ submitted by seven European citizens resident in seven Member States. Their representative, Anthony Simpson, speaking in Nottingham, said:

 

‘As European citizens we have the right to move around and reside in the EU in freedom and dignity. If UK citizens lose that status because of Brexit, then our rights will be affected. The Commission, in its initial decision in registering our Initiative mentions “third-country nationals”, who have “certain similar rights to those linked to citizenship of the Union”. What are those rights and how do they differ from those of European citizens?’ he asked. ‘Mrs May makes no mention of European citizens in her long letter resigning UK membership of the EU. How will she safeguard the rights of European citizens when she disregards that status?’       

 

A third-country national is anyone who is not a citizen of an EU country.

 

The Commission Decision on the ECI, dated 22.3.2017, says:        

 

‘A legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties can be adopted in the field of rights of third-country nationals residing legally in a Member State, including the conditions governing freedom of movement and of residence in other Member States of the EU. Such a legal act may therefore confer certain similar rights to those linked to citizenship of the Union on citizens of a state that has withdrawn from the Union pursuant to Article 50 TEU. Moreover, rights of EU citizens who have already exercised their freedom of movement prior to the withdrawal of a Member State from the Union can be safeguarded in an agreement pursuant to Article 50 TEU.’

 

PRESS RELEASE: 21/03                                                                         For immediate release

BREXIT? NO THANKS!

We are European citizens, not bargaining chips

This Saturday, 25 March, many thousands of people will join demonstrations in London and elsewhere under the banner 'Unite for Europe'.

Our rights as European citizens are under threat. Currently, European treaties guarantee us rights of entry and residencein member states of the European Union in conditions of ‘freedom and dignity. Brexit jeopardises such rights.

We are therefore launching a European Citizens Initiative to retain European citizenship and to safeguard people against being used as bargaining chips in the way that they are under Brexit.

Speaking in Nottingham, Tony Simpson, representative of the citizens’ committee for 'Retaining European Citizenship' said:

“We're seeking a way for people to retain their European citizenship if they wish. The best way to do this is not to Brexit in the first place. But Mrs May insists she will trigger Article 50 next Wednesday. Saturday's demonstration provides a timely opportunity to argue for a better way which doesn't strip people of their rights.'

European citizens' initiatives allow one million EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies, by calling on the European Commission to make a legislative proposal.

Our initiative, Retaining European Citizenship,and has been submitted by the required seven EU citizens resident in seven member states: Belgium, France,  Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy and the UK. The text reads:

To uphold the right of Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of Member States under objective conditions of freedom and dignity (Directive 2004/38/EC), and to safeguard citizens of the Union from use as bargaining chips in negotiations under Article 50 TEU, requests the Commission submit a proposal to retain the rights of EU citizenship for all those who have already exercised their freedom of movement prior to the departure of a Member State leaving the Union, and for those nationals of a departing State who wish to retain their status as citizens of the Union.

The text has already been translated into several languages.

PRESS RELEASE: 09/03/17                                                             For immediate release

BREXIT --  Citizens not Bargaining Chips

The European Commission has confirmed it is verifying the European Citizens' Initiative entitled ‘Retaining European Citizenship’, which has been submitted from Nottingham.

Under European treaties, the European citizens' initiative allows one million EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies, by calling on the European Commission to make a legislative proposal.

Tony Simpson, representative of the citizens' committee, said:

‘Seven individuals from across Europe have come together with the aim of preserving our rights and responsibilities as European citizens, and protecting people from being used as bargaining chips.

‘We have made a good start, but there is a long way to go. When our initiative is verified in May, our aim is to collect one million signatures from citizens across the European Union.’

The text of the initiative reads:

‘To uphold the right of Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of Member States under objective conditions of freedom and dignity (Directive 2004/38/EC), and to safeguard citizens of the Union from use as bargaining chips in negotiations under Article 50 TEU, requests the Commission submit a proposal to retain the rights of EU citizenship for all those who have already exercised their freedom of movement prior to the departure of a Member State leaving the Union, and for those nationals of a departing State who wish to retain their status as citizens of the Union.’

The text has already been translated into Greek and Spanish (see eucitizen2017.org/home/other-languages/), and further translations are under way. Members of the citizens’ committee reside in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy and the UK. More details at eucitizen2017.org and http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/welcome

The citizens' committee aims to build a network across Europe, with citizens of many nationalities participating in the effort to secure the necessary support. It is hoped that individuals, local groups, regional, national and European-wide organisations will pledge their support to the initiative.

Background

European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs) were introduced with the Lisbon Treaty as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of European citizens in April 2012.

Once formally registered, an ECI allows one million citizens from at least one quarter of EU Member States to invite the European Commission to propose a legal act in areas where the Commission has the power to do so.

If a registered ECI receives the signatures of one million validated statements of support from at least seven Member States, the Commission must decide whether or not it will act, and explain the reasons for that choice.

----ENDS----

Contact Tony Simpson 

Online:www.eucitizen2017.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eucitizen2017/

Twitter: @EUCitizen2017 

 

PRESS RELEASE -- Sunday 5 March 2017

BREXIT -- Bargain Not with People’s Lives

Retaining European Citizenship in the event of leaving the EU

-- European Citizens’ Initiative requests

Seven European citizens resident in seven different member states launch a European Citizens’ Initiative to safeguard people against being used as bargaining chips and to retain European citizenship in the event of a member state leaving the European Union.

Tony Simpson, representative of the citizens’ committee, said:

‘Since the early 1990s, children in the UK and other member states are born European citizens, with freedom of movement around much of Europe and other rights. Their parents became European citizens in 1993, and enjoy the same rights. During the Brexit debates so far we’ve heard little about our European citizenship and its imminent removal. Yet many people understandably cherish this status which allows us to move and reside freely throughout much of our common European home.’

Speaking from Nottingham, he added:

‘According to European treaties, we are supposed to move and reside freely under objective conditions of “freedom and dignity”. Yet, bargaining with people’s lives removes their freedom, and it is far from dignified behaviour. So we are seeking a million signatures to uphold our existing rights as citizens of the European Union.’

The European Commission is verifying the Initiative entitled ‘Retaining European Citizenship’, the text of which is:

‘To uphold the right of Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of Member States under objective conditions of freedom and dignity (Directive 2004/38/EC), and to safeguard citizens of the Union from use as bargaining chips in negotiations under Article 50 TEU, requests the Commission submit a proposal to retain the rights of EU citizenship for all those who have already exercised their freedom of movement prior to the departure of a Member State leaving the Union, and for those nationals of a departing State who wish to retain their status as citizens of the Union.’

Members of the citizens’ committee reside in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy and the UK. The Initiative is due to open for public signature in early May. Under the European Citizens’ Initiative, one million signatures, drawn proportionately from the 28 Member States, are required for a proposal to be considered by the European Commission. More details at: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/welcome

--ENDS--

More information from Tony Simpson 

Online: www.eucitizen2017.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eucitizen2017/

 

Tweets from EU Citizenship 2017 @EUCitizen2017

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