Monday 29 November 2010

Concrete benefits to EU citizens on the move

After the general press release available in 22 EU languages and mentioned in the previous blog post, we turn to how the European Commission presented its reform package for citizens' rights in more detail (only in English):

European Commission adopts plan to bring concrete benefits to EU citizens on the move; Brussels, 27 October 2010, MEMO/10/525

The Commission referred to the citizenship report by Alain Lamassoure MEP (which I have presented earlier on my blogs) before offering a few figures about the issues:

In 2009, about 11.9 million EU citizens were living outside their home Member State. The number of complaints and enquiries that the Commission receives from citizens every year is rising: in 2009 the Europe Direct Contact Centre received 25,721 enquires on cross-border issues, including travelling, buying and selling, studying, working and living in other Member States. Today's plan responds to many of these concerns.

As we see, almost 12 million EU citizens live in a permanent cross-border situation, whereas huge numbers make more or less brief 'visits', through business or leisure travel, by being posted abroad for a limited time, or through online buying.

The Commission presented examples of five reform initiatives, concerning car registration, cross-border healthcare and Ehealth technologies, consular protection, package travel, and improving information for EU citizens.

The Commission then offered brief outlines of 25 planned actions to improve the daily life of EU citizens.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Part of the BBC's coverage of EU affairs, Gavin Hewitt's Europe is one of the “must read” Euroblogs in English.

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