martes, 23 de mayo de 2017

REPORT ON EUROCITIZENS MONTHLY MEETING (20/05/17)

On Saturday 20 May, EuroCitizens held its seventh monthly meeting in the Centro Gallego in central Madrid. Since we started the group last autumn, we have made huge steps forward. Not only has our membership base grown, but we have put ourselves on the map in terms of the media and made important progress in lobbying politicians both in Spain and, through the coalition British in Europe, in Brussels and Westminster.

    We began with an update on recent lobbying. EuroCitizens has met with senior politicians from the four major Spanish parties and last week a representative gave evidence at the Comisión Mixta on Brexit in the Spanish parliament, where our cause met a very sympathetic reception. This week (26/05) we will be meeting the Secretario de Estado para Asuntos Europeos in Madrid, another major breakthrough. As members of the coalition British in Europe we have met UK government officials and a junior minister. BiE has also had talks with MEPs and held a meeting with EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. In all these encounters, we have presented our demands: a ring-fenced agreement guaranteeing full lifetime EU citizenship rights for all European residents in Britain and UK nationals in the UK.   After briefly discussing voter registration and tactical voting in the UK general election, there were reports from our two sub-committees. The concert group (Música sin Fronteras) has secured a magnificent venue in central Madrid on June 24 (an emotive date) and the next step will be to sign up bands to perform. We are particularly looking for musicians that will appeal to a younger audience. After university exams finish, the education group will begin work on videos about the impact of Brexit on Spanish and British students.
   We are pleased to announce that EuroCitizens is now a legally registered association, an important milestone. We have a healthy bank balance but, with the concert and the videos, will have considerable outgoings, so any contribution is welcome. We reminded members of how our association works, with a committee that will come up for renewal at the end of this year. We aim to increase our numbers, and we would like to encourage our members to get other people to join, even friends and family members in the UK. There is no membership fee and any contributions are voluntary. We will be distributing flyers at upcoming events in Madrid such as the next performance of the Madrid players.
    
   Our key objectives for the next few months are 1) to work closely in the British in Europe coalition on UK and EU lobbying 2) to continue contacts with Spanish politicians and government 3) to increase awareness of the plight facing UK nationals in Spain and Spaniards resident in Britain 4) to widen our membership base
    It is clear that securing a good agreement on citizens' rights is not going to be easy and will not be resolved soon, so we must be ready for a long, hard struggle to avoid becoming the sacrificial victims of Britain's departure from the EU.


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