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On 12th and 13th December 2013, the Closing Conference of the European Year of Citizens 2013 took place at the Lithuanian Parliament “Seimas” in Vilnius. During this event, the chair of European Year of Citizens Alliance (EYCA) officially handed over EYCA Policy Document: “It’s about Us, it’s about Europe! Towards Democratic European Citizenship” to EU Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding.
This document presents EYCA key proposals for the reinforcement and enhancement of active citizenship in Europe. It is organised in three chapters, starting with their vision for Europe – a Union based upon solidarity, equality and participation. But this vision for Europe implies to ensure that vulnerable, marginalised and excluded citizens are equally involved and included in society, notably in terms of participation (Chapter 2) and to strengthen the three democratic pillars – education and information; open and responsive institutions; and strong and independent civil society (Chapter 3).
It is worth recalling that the EYCA gathers 62 European networks of associations and non-governmental organisations backed by 22 coalitions at the national level with the aim of engaging civil society in a broad debate on what European citizenship means today, identifying the challenges ahead and formulating solutions.
AEDH is a member of the steering committee and is represented by its Honorary Chairman Pierre Barge – who also co-chairs, with Carlotta Besozzi from the European Disability Forum, the Working Group on inclusive citizenship. Thus, the Association participated actively in exchanges at the local, national and European level between civil society organisations. It supports the idea of active and participatory citizenship fostering rights, a political and social citizenship, a citizenship based on residence.