European Federalist Party

Brussels, 10 January 2013


PRESS RELEASE – European Year of Citizens 2013: More is needed

We don’t just want to discuss – we want to decide!

On Thursday (10/01/2013), the kick-off of the “European Year of Citizens” was celebrated in Dublin with a discussion event with EU Fundamental Rights Commissioner Vivianne Reding. The focus of this European Year of Citizens will be on the rights of EU citizens, especially the right to move within the EU, non-discrimination, voting in European elections and EU programmes for citizens.

“It is crucial for Europeans to be aware of their rights, as a citizen who does not know his/her rights is a citizens with fewer rights!” points out Pietro De Matteis, EFP co-President. The European Federalist Party (EFP), which is working for a more democratic and inclusive Europe, believes that this is not sufficient and that the plans for this Year of Citizens can still be improved substantially. EFP co-president Yves Gernigon notes that: “Europe needs to engage in a real debate. But we do not need more top-down ‘debates’ where politicians tell us citizens that we should just enjoy the rights they have given us. We citizens are the sovereign of Europe – and we demand the right to take decisions, not just debate”.

The EFP is convinced that only real democratic reforms can bring the EU closer to the citizens and only a real debate about the future course of Europe can keep the growing threat of nationalism at bay. The European Federalist Party wants that the EU finally takes the necessary steps towards democratic elections of a true European government of the people and for the people.


Media information: The two co-presidents of the European Federalist Party can be contacted at:
Yves Gernigon:
Pietro de Matteis:


The European Federalist Party (EFP) is the pan-European party for a more democratic, united and solidary Europe: a Europe of the people and for the people. The EFP was founded in 2011 in Paris by citizens from all over Europe and has since developed into a cross-border movement with thousands of members and supporters and chapters in 9 EU states. The EFP was instrumental in the introduction of several key laws and reforms in the EU, including improvements to the Lisbon treaty, the European Citizens’ Initiative and the EU roaming regulation.

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  1. Thank you for your comment Karsten,

    Indeed, we agree, both must go hand in hand. As mentioned in the press release “It is crucial for Europeans to be aware of their rights, as a citizen who does not know his/her rights is a citizens with fewer rights!”

    Thank you

  2. It seems arrogant of any leader to proclaim a Year of the Citizen. If you are a citizen and the EU is Europe of the Citizens, why do you have to wait for someone to declare that this is the Year of the Citizen? Isn’t it time for the citizens to declare this is the year of democracy, that is the year for the citizens to examine the audacity of those who think that they can proclaim the Year of the Citizen — as if other years where devoted to their own selfish objectives? The Fundamental rights are not given by the EU, the Commission or anyone. They are recognized by them. They contain supranational values. The Community is designed and supposed to be an expression of supranational values. As a reminder to the Top Citizens, more equal than others — this does not include the idea that referendums should be ignored or if they turn out inconveniently, they vote should be repeated. Some countries were promised referendums and they did not materialize. Other countries had their constitutions changed so that referendums were not required any more. That started 20 years ago with the Maastricht treaty that ‘granted’ Europeans European citizenship. That attitude has been repeated many times. The result is that the present Lisbon treaty is of dubious legality because it has ignored the citizens’ own voice. A great deal of confusion relates to the difference between ‘federal’ and Community or supranational system — see the website or eurdemocracy on blogactiv.

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