The Commission has proposed to designate 2013 as the European Year of Citizens. The year will mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Union citizenship under the Maastricht Treaty and will precede and prepare the European Parliament's elections in 2014.
The main objective of the Commission's proposal is to inform Union citizens about their rights as such. Particular importance is given to the right to move and reside freely, which is essential to enable individuals, businesses and society to benefit from the opportunities of the single market.
However, EESC believe that EU Citizenship means more. If we want that people feel connected to Europe, we need to develop also the political dimension: knowledge of the political system, democratic attitudes and participatory skills should be promoted. More importance should be given also to the social dimension: combating social isolation and social exclusion, defending human rights, working for equality. The cultural dimension should not be forgotten either, through knowledge of a common cultural heritage.