There can be no European Union without a strong civil society and a strong European consciousness31.05.2013 | European citizens’ initiative
On Thursday, May 30th DAHR MEP Csaba Sógor was the guest speaker at the series of conferences organised by the Braşov territorial organisation of the DAHR and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The MEP gave a speech on current European Union issues.
Csaba Sógor spoke about the importance of the 2013 European Year of Citizens, which aims to raise the public’s awareness of their citizens’ rights. The MEP believes that this year represents an opportunity to discuss this subject as much as possible, as citizens can only exercise their rights if they are aware of them.
“One of the biggest challenges of the European Union is to promote the idea of being a citizen of Europe, because that is what unifies us in the cultural diversity we live in. One plane of the EU’s crisis is the absence of European citizen’s consciousness”, emphasised the MEP. In Sógor’s opinion the solution to this problem lies in education.
The MEP also spoke about the European Citizens’ Initiative, which makes it possible for citizens to present a legislative proposal to the European Commission.
The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania wishes to take this opportunity offered by the Lisbon Treaty, and turn the European Union’s attention to the problems of national minorities. The DAHR elaborated a set of proposals called the Minority SafePack, which contains a series of legislative proposals on the right of using one’s mother tongue, education, the protection of cultural diversity, antidiscrimination measures as well as on audio-visual and digital media. The public in Braşov voiced its concern about the last issue, saying that Hungarians living in this region have very little chance to view TV programmes in Hungarian due to the policies of local commercial stations. These programmes are crucial in preserving and consolidating national identity. According to Sógor, this is exactly the kind of problem DAHR’s Minority SafePack aims to solve on a EU level.
“The European Citizens’ Initiative gives people the chance to have a say in setting the decision making bodies’ agenda. I believe in a Europe with a strong civil society, where NGO’s complement political work and where people can have a say in politics not only once every five years at elections, but by regularly voicing their concerns about everyday issues” – concluded Sógor.