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EU debates citizenship, identity amid economic gloom

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EU debates citizenship, identity amid economic gloom
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If you are worried about finding a job or your family is struggling to pay the bills, the European Year of Citizens might have passed you by.

The European Commission says this new intitiative will remind EU citizens of their rights. It runs until the end of 2013.

Ireland’s Europe Minister Lucinda Creighton said: “it’s about engaging citizens on all sorts of topics, from questions regarding free movement and different rights to their expactations from the European Union.”

For the left-wing NGO network ‘Solidar’, there is a real lack of knowledge amongst Europeans about what the EU does.

“We have the Charter of Fundamental Rights that only a few people know. There are many rights in the area of anti-discrimination that go unnoticed,” said Solidar’s Conny Reuter.

“The first problem we need to face is that many citizens are not aware of the rights they have and how they can claim them.”

But with unemployment in the EU above ten percent, some Europeans might say there are more pressing matters than a debate on EU citizenship and identity.