jueves, 6 de abril de 2017

EUROCITIZENS MEETING (01/04/17): 'THE NEXT FEW MONTHS WILL BE CRUCIAL FOR OUR CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS'

EuroCitizens meeting  (TeleMadrid)
On Saturday 1 April, EuroCitizens held its monthly meeting in the Centro Gallego in Madrid. This time we had TV cameras present (TeleMadrid) and a journalist and photographers from a newspaper (El Independiente). This press interest was indicative of how quickly we have advanced in the last few weeks from a position of relative obscurity. Now we are firmly on the media map as a group and in a position to make our voice heard loud and clear.
    First, there was a brief report on our recent activities, in particular the Round Table we organised at the European Parliament offices on 8 March and the pro-European demonstration which we took part in on 25 March in Madrid. Both events were evaluated positively by members and have sparked off a series of interviews with TV, radio and newspaper journalists both in Spain and abroad. We also gave feedback about the meeting between EuroCitizens and a top Brexit official, Chris Jones, Director of Migration and Security. We got an idea of UK governent strategy, but no clear answers were given to our questions. The participation of the group at a conference of union leaders in Valladolid was also mentioned. Finally, there was a run-through of our growing links with other groups of UK nationals in Spain, Españoles en el Reino Unido and the pan-European platform British in Europe.    Our treasurer gave a quick summary of our financial position and what we have been spending money on. The principal costs were incurred for the Round Table (technical back-up, filming etc) and the CRM registration and membership system which ensures data privacy. Thanks to the generous response of our members to our plea for donations, we have 1,444 euros in the kitty. The group currently has four hundred members, plus supporters.   In the coming few months, we will continue lobbying Westminster and London via the umbrella platform British in Europe. We will be also seeking to contact Spanish administrations at different levels (national governnment/Comunidad de Madrid/Ayto. de Madrid). We already have a meeting programmed with a senior PP diputado after Easter and in May EuroCitizens will be giving evidence to the Brexit committee of the Congreso de los Diputados.   
  We then moved on to proposals. One was to set up a closed Facebook group, where members can exchange information and opinions. The need for moderation and guidelines was highlighted. Another idea was to produce short videos of people talking about their Brexit concerns (cost 200/300 euros). We have decided to postpone the round table on education until October to fit in better with university and school calendars and give us time to organise it properly, including all major stakeholders (universities, British schools, language academies). We also agreed to organise a fundraising event at the end of June (possibly the 23/24 which is the anniversary of the referendum. Someone with a street theatre offered to do something as did a music producer who can help to organise a concert. The possibility of a debate involving young people affected by Brexit was mooted for the end of April.    We finished off with a call for volunteers. We have had a good response over the last two months, demonstrated by the great team which organised the event at the European Parliament offices. But we still need more people as our commitments grow. If you can give some of your time, however little, please get in touch with us. In May/June negotiations will start between the UK and the EU and the next few months will be crucial in terms of maintaining our EU citizenship rights. 















 

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