domingo, 15 de enero de 2017

'EUROCITIZENS' GAINS MOMENTUM IN ITS FIGHT TO DEFEND EUROPEAN CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS

On Saturday 14 January, Euro- Citizens held its third monthly meeting in central Madrid. Around sixty people attended, compared to the twenty or so at our previous internal session in mid November. The increase in numbers means that we will need to look for a bigger venue. However, it is extremely positive that momentum is gathering in our fight to defend the European citizenship rights of people affected by Britain’s foreseeable departure from the EU.
     First, we summed up the progress made in contacting other groups. Last week, we had an extremely constructive meeting with leaders of ‘el Movimiento Europeo en España’ and have established plans for cooperation with the group. At the same time, we are in close contact with the branch of the European Movement in Britain. After Christmas, we met representatives of Spaniards in the UK and our two movements are now linked. Other contacts have been made with ‘el Círculo de Corresponsales Extranjeros en España’, the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain, the Federation of Language Schools, the organisation of international schools in Spain, ‘la Comisión del Brexit del Congreso de los Diputados’ and the office of the European Parliament in Spain. 

      We have established a calendar of events for the next two months. A meeting is planned with the British ambassador to Spain in early February. During that month we also hope to attend an encounter with foreign correspondents in Spain. Towards the end of February we will participate in a working lunch organised by the  ‘Movimiento Europeo’ about the implications of British departure from the EU for citizens. In early March, we will hold a round table on the same topic, with the participation of a key Spanish politician and experts in the areas of education, law and health.
   We also discussed the organisation of EuroCitizens and intend to go ahead with the setting up of an association. As a provisional move, members generously made donations to cover our ongoing expenses in renting out venues. People also volunteered to help out in the following areas: contacting other groups of Britons in Spain, dealing with the press and social media, research to put together a factsheet about UK nationals in Spain and the impact of Britain’s departure from the EU. Interesting ideas for a fundraising event were also mooted.
    To sum up, the meeting was extremely constructive. The next few months promise to be crucial in the fight to make our voices heard. Our central demand is crystal clear: the guaranteeing of all European citizenship rights for UK nationals resident in Spain and elsewhere in the EU, and for Spanish and other European citizens living in Great Britain.

Our next monthly meeting will be on Saturday 18 February (venue to be confirmed).

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