lunes, 8 de mayo de 2017

EUROCITIZENS NEWSLETTER 09/05: WILL THIS BE OUR PENULTIMATE 'EUROPE DAY'?

   Today is Europe Day, a time to celebrate what the EU has done for Europe and its people. It is of particular relevance to the 1.2 million Britons in EU27 countries in danger of losing their European identity and rights. Last Europe Day, most of us paid little attention, as we took our citizenship for granted. This year, after the Brexit referendum in which most of us could not vote, we must take stock of what we have to lose from the UK's departure from the EU. And we must be ready to fight for our rights..... 
After that preamble, here is the EuroCitizens newsletter explaining what we have been up to and what our plans are: 
  Though the frenetic press activity around Clause 50 has died down, the last two or three weeks have been very busy. Perhaps the most important development has been the full incorporation of EuroCitizens into the British in Europe Coalition, with whom we are now in close touch via email, a document-sharing site and weekly conference calls. We reported how, after the 20 April with the Foreign Office and DExEU, the groups got together to plan future action together, particularly at a Spanish level. In many ways, the four Spanish groups are complementary. For example, Bremain has a large presence on the coast where most UK nationals live. They are particularly focused on UK lobbying and have mounted an effective campaign for voter registration and tactical voting in the 8 June General Election. EuroCitizens has a smaller member base with a different demographic, but our location in Madrid means that we are well located for lobbying of the Spanish government and national politicians as well as working with the national media.
  In the last few days, we have contacted and held meetings with senior politicians from the PP, PSOE and Ciudadanos (we are still working on Podemos). We have received a very sympathetic response from these three political parties who firmly back our campaign to maintain citizens' rights for both Spanish and British citizens. We have also received useful help from MEPs, in particular from Beatriz Becerra (ALDE). Our next aim is to meet government ministers and we have sent a letter to the foreign minister Alfonso Dastis.
  EuroCitizens is involved in the celebrations in Madrid around Europe Day (May 9). On Monday 8 May, two representatives took part in a debate organised by the European Commission and brought up issues related to citizens' rights and the need for the ring-fencing of any agreement in this area. Today another member of the group will participate in a round table about the challenges facing the EU.
  Our most important event this month will be our appearance on May 17 at the select committee in the Congreso de los Diputados dealing with the impact of Brexit. We will explain to senators and MPs the concerns of our members: the insecurity we have faced for nearly a year as well as the feeling that we are being used as bargaining chips. We will demand the maintenance of full citizenship rights for all Europeans and Britons legally resident before the UK's departure from the EU and for any agreement to be ring-fenced.
  At an internal level, two sub-committees have been set up. The education group is working on the impact of Brexit on education. The other group is looking into the possibility of organising a concert in late June or July, in order to raise awareness of our cause and of the threat to the music industry posed by Brexit (Música Sin Fronteras). Our next full-group meeting will be held on Saturday 20 May in the Centro Gallego (12h). We hope you can come.
 We would like to thank all members and sympathisers who have made financial contributions to the association (our paperwork is slowly wending its way through the appropriate bureaucratic channels) as well as those who have given their time and appeared in the media. Remember that, if you do have any time to give, please get in touch. We need all the help we can get to fight for our rights - which have been endangered by the actions of our own government.
    May we wish you a very happy.....  EUROPE DAY!  Let's hope that it's not the penultimate one we celebrate as Europeans.


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