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Europe Direct

Annual Report 2011


The EU matters
There can be little doubt that 2012 promises to be a challenging year. The EU will focus its eorts on economic growth. Although many citizens remain uneasy about what lies ahead, we have condence in our resourcefulness.
European Commission

Economic and Social Committee in involving citizens in the democratic life of the Union. We must reach out to citizens and explain the benets of being part of this Union. We must guard against apathy; turnout in the European elections fell from 63 % in 1979 to 43 % in 2009. We have to engage with citizens in the run-up to the next Parliament elections in 2014. A er all, we are a union of citizens for citizens. The EU is stronger with the support and enthusiasm of the people. This is why Europe Direct is important to the success of the European project. Addressing Europeans directly is the best way of informing them of their rights. Citizens want a one-stop-shop for information on Europe, and the Europe Direct network is important to making this a reality. Communication is more than information; it is also a dialogue. That is why during the European Year of Citizens 2013 we will engage with citizens. They can all have their say through the online public consultation2 until 9 September 2012, and let us know what actions the EU should focus on to make their life easier. Europe Direct is an essential part of this process of engaging citizens.

The European Union has a fundamental role in leading this path. Many of the benets that EU citizenship brings, such as being part of the Single Market and the free movement of people and capital, contribute hugely to Europes competitiveness. We are also nding new ways of engaging with the younger generation, to ensure that they have the opportunity to learn, train and prosper. The need for collective actions is recognised by many citizens who see the EU as the most eective actor ahead of national governments in tackling the eects of the economic crisis according to a Eurobarometer poll published in December 20111. We must build on this belief with eective policy measures to accelerate our recovery. In this context, we need to step up the cooperation with the other EU institutions. I, therefore, welcome the support of the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European

Viviane Reding
Vice-President of the European Commission Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

The EU remains in rst place (23 %, up 1 % from 2010) as being recognised as the most eective economic actor, followed by national governments (20 %, unchanged). The G20 (16 %, up 2 %) ranks third, ahead of the International Monetary Fund (14 %, down 1 %), in Eurobarometer 76: Public Opinion in the European Union.


Young citizens
To highlight the European Citizens Initiative which entered into force on 1st April 2012, according to the Lisbon Treaty, EDIC Murcia (ES) launched a European Citizens Initiative Competition Getting involved: Europes young citizens for young people. The aim was to promote debate on topical European issues, learn about how the EU works and develop a sense of active citizenship. Working in teams, the young people developed proposals they thought should be regulated at EU level. The authors of the two winning initiatives numbering 16 participants in total won a trip to visit the European institutions in Brussels.
EDIC Murcia

Good news from Austria

EDIC Styria

Presenting ags of EU countries to children

Spreading the word

EDICs continue to perform a crucial role in communicating Europe to the citizens.

EDIC Styria (AT) recently launched a daily newsletter in order to better inform the public about what is happening in their region. The initiative has proved to be a hit, with subscriber numbers steadily increasing. The EDIC has also placed an emphasis on encouraging young people to participate in events, with experts visiting schools on a regular basis. In addition, the regional government is providing nancial help for young students to travel to Brussels through the EU in Schulen project.

Improving communication
EDIC Skaraborg (SE) challenged young people to provide EU policy-makers with ve tips on how to better communicate with young people. Eight teams The future of communication from Vstra Gtaland participated, and the winning class enjoyed a eld trip to Brussels in September. The winning teams ve tips were: a computer game
European Commission

Radio Europe
EDIC ERT (GR) has enjoyed extensive coverage through its cooperation on the radio programme Exercising my Rights in the Europe of Tomorrow, made by the Greek public broadcaster. This show, which focuses on EU issues, has an average nationwide audience of between 4 000 to 5 000 listeners per week, which means that thousands are listening to EU news and debate each month.