Ensuring EU citizens their right to be heard was on the European Parliament's agenda on 27 January as the Committee of Petitions (PETI) adopted two reports seeking to empower citizens and reinforce their ability to engage meaningfully in the EU's decision-making.
The Renew Europe Group stressed that all obstacles preventing citizens from fully exercising their rights must be tackled. And, as the many petitions from citizens have shown - concerning everything from restrictions to free movement to violations of the principle of non-discrimination - there is a lot to address. Hence, in the EU Citizenship Report 2020: empowering citizens and protecting their rights, the liberal Group pushed for a comprehensive assessment of the rights of EU citizens together with well-defined actions and legislative initiatives to meet the complaints.
Yana Toom MEP (Eesti Keskerakond, EE), Renew Europe Group's coordinator in the PETI Committee and rapporteur on the EU Citizenship Report 2020, said about her report:
"The rights of EU citizens enshrined by the treaties are one of most tangible results of the European Union. My priority for this report was not only to ensure equitable access to these rights but also to find new ways to enhance EU Citizenship rights. That is why we are proposing a range of measures to address barriers to the freedom of movement alongside proposals for using technology to facilitate electoral rights and citizen participation."
In the second report, focusing on increasing citizen's ability to engage in EU agenda-setting, Renew Europe underlined the need to improve the existing instruments for citizens to voice their concerns and ideas. For instance, the Group highlighted the necessity for more transparency, better accessibility of the European Citizens' Initiative tool, smarter ways of informing citizens about the EU Ombudsman and improved structures to handle petitioners' requests, all to facilitate and encourage citizens' participation.
EU citizens have the right to be heard! There is no 🇪🇺 democracy if citizens are not involved! @RenewEurope supports @EP_Petitions reports that aim to empower citizens and reinforce their ability to engage in the EU's decision-making.— Renew Europe | Press (@Renew_Press) January 27, 2022
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