Hannes Swoboda: „We must expand the concept of European citizenship to third-country nationals and reform immigration policy“
On the occasion of the ‚Access to citizenship and its impact on immigration integration’conference held in Brussels today, the S&D Group reiterates its call for the concept of European citizenship to be expanded. The conference is held in the ‚2013 Year of Citizens‘ and will focus on issues such as citizenship, integration, immigration and naturalisation.
S&D Group President Hannes Swoboda sent a video message from the conference:
„The EU has long promoted the integration of third-country nationals and fostered the exchange of best practice but it has failed to address the core issue of integration in European life for the millions of ’new Europeans‘ who have joined our societies.
„In this Year of Citizens we call for a political reflection on how to expand the concept of European citizenship. This includes the gradual extension of the right to European citizenship for third-country nationals who are long-term residents. Furthermore, we must discuss how the EU can facilitate access to nationality for children born in the EU or who have followed a full cycle of education in the EU.
„Clearly this reflection should respect national differences in legislation but set out common principles.
„Citizenship could be the last step of this process but it is undeniable that being a citizen is a core achievement for any person going through the process of integration.“
He concluded by calling for the right to vote for third-country nationals and a revision of EU immigration policy:
„Many other factors are critical to foster real integration in society. This includes for example employment, education and the right to vote.
„The EU should revise its immigration policy, to foster access to employment (in the framework of the compatibilities and needs of labour markets) and to make sure that migrants enjoy the fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter.
„These fundamental rights – including social and labour rights – apply to everyone, not just EU citizens.“
The S&D Group has launched the EuropePlus initiative
The S&D Group believes a new focus is needed on the ’new Europeans‘, the generation of people who have European and other identities at the same time. In this context the S&D Group has launched the EuropePlus initiative, aiming to ensure fair access to citizenship and rights for everyone in Europe, regardless of their nationality or origin, and particularly for the new generation of children and young people born, raised, living and studying in the EU.
Hannes Swoboda: „Wir müssen das Konzept der Unionsbürgerschaft auf Angehörige von Drittländern ausweiten und die Einwanderungspolitik reformieren“
Aus Anlass der heute in Brüssel abgehaltenen Konferenz zum Thema „Zugang zur Bürgerschaft und Auswirkungen auf Immigration und Integration“ bekräftigt die Sozialdemokratische Fraktion im Europäischen Parlament ihre Forderung nach einer Ausweitung des Konzepts der Europäischen Unionsbürgerschaft. Die Konferenz findet im Rahmen des „Europäischen Jahres der Bürgerinnen und Bürger 2013“ und wird sich schwerpunktmäßig mit Themen wie Bürgerschaft, Integration, Immigration und Einbürgerung beschäftigen.