Microfinance and citizenship

Microfinance is a key way to empower and add value through self-accomplishment to European Citizenships: for instance, many migrants have found profitable to get a small loan to launch their own business. In a more general way, they can regain self-confidence and feel empowered, and moreover small economic activity could engenders some additional income and help people to achieve a more respected member of society.

Access to finance represents in a deeper sociological analysis, a hidden need, namely as the indirect consequence of current changes in the labour markets in the EU for migrant population.

Most migrants arrive in Europe with the hope of improving their living conditions. Access to finance for migrant population will not only facilitate a better structural integration, but also contribute to the promotion of new financial and economic players in Europe (as MFIs) whose success will benefit the economies of the EU member countries at large.

EU and Citizenship 2013

European year of Citizens is aimed at making citizens confident about their rights in order to engage themselves in democratic life at all levels of government, civil society and business.

The main activities provided by the European Commission were the communication campaign -sustained by multilingual tools- and related events through Europe, opening and closing conference and dialogues between the European Commissioners and people around Europe.

The year has offered citizens of the EU the chance to raise their awareness on the opportunities given by the EU citizenship, particularly their right to work and live in Europe and their right to take part in the decision process by generating specific proposals.

The citizens have been called for participation on EU policies and issues in order to prepare themselves to express their vote for 2014 elections.

The event has been promoted through different channels, for instance a series of publications about conception of the European Year, from the initial proposal to the final fruition.

Why 2013? The 2013 is the 20th anniversary of EU citizenship, because It has been 20 years since the Maastricht treaty was signed.

  1. More specifically, the idea came up after 2010 EU Citizenship Report in which it was stated that EU citizens are not aware of their rights, particularly the right to move and to reside freely in other EU countries.
  2. The need for EU citizens to become aware of their rights is more relevant than ever considering the current period of economic downturn.

EU Citizenship rights

The European Commission has planned a series of actions to tackle obstacles that citizens experience in their everyday life. Part Two of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union focuses on EU citizens' rights and non-discrimination. European Fundamental rights are also spelled out in the Charter of Fundamental Right of the European Union and they are all the rights found in the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU. It includes the rights and freedoms proclaimed in the European Convention on Human Rights, other rights and principles shared by the common constitutional traditions of EU countries and other international instruments.

On 23rd May 2013, the European Commission published the EU citizenship report in which twelve new actions to improve citizens’ lives are presented; the actions plan include improving the accessibility of the railways for the estimated 80 million Europeans with disabilities, reducing red tape for people buying a car in another EU country, removing obstacles to the effective exercise of electoral rights and offering user-friendly information through online one-stop information point 'Your Europe and EU Direct'.

 

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