It's our Europe! It's our voice! But how to put this into practice?
The new EPTAC in 23 official languages facilitates public participation across the European Union, the world’s biggest transnational democracy, with its 28 member states, 500 regions and more than 100 000 municipalities.
Trying to change the education system? Having a problem with poisoned food products? Want to move the lorries from road to rail? Or having problems registering your company across the border? EU citizens have many rights and face hard choices – but they need to know what options they have to influence issues and in which arenas.
The new EPTAC published by the EESC offers "quick guides", factsheets, background information, pathfinders and navigators to all aspects of modern European democracy, including a toolkit of participation resources and a detailed manual on the European Citizens Initiative (ECI).
More than 50 ECIs have been filed since 2012, including the successful proposals to prevent water privatisation and initiatives to develop a pan-European education system, provide more support to Greece and setting a speed of 30 km/h in towns across Europe.
The EESC European Passport to Active Citizenship connects individuals and ideas with institutions and decisions. With its hints and recommendations, the passport-style publication, which will be launched in April 2015, is a good window of opportunity for citizens to make their voice heard.
Whatever you as a citizen want to do – complain, solve a problem, assert their consumer power, debate or petition – this little booklet in your own language may be the key to success and change. Get it, use it, and share it. It’s your voice! It’s your Europe! It’s your Passport to Active Citizenship!
Bruno Kaufmann, journalist and creator of the 2015 European Passport to Active Citizenship