Member of the European Parliament, Marlene Mizzi, welcomed the Europe for Citizens programme as a key tool to strengthen a sense of European citizenship and belonging, which has never been as important as it is today. But at the same time she called for its further reinforcement and increase of the programme’s budget, projects and goals.

MEP Mizzi made her statement during a plenary debate in Strasbourg yesterday morning, where MEPs discussed and voted upon a report on the future recommendations for improving the Europe for Citizens programme.

“Europe is undergoing challenging times, threatening the foundations and the very existence of the European project. The European Union needs to reconnect with its citizens by encouraging civic participation and enhancing people’s understanding of its history and diversity. That is why I support this programme, which is key a instrument to achieve this,” said Marlene Mizzi.

The Maltese Member of the European Parliament believes that active citizenship, education and intercultural dialogue are paramount to the building of an open and inclusive society. “The programme so far has been a success reaching more than sevenmillion citizens in thousands of towns and cities around Europe promoting the European Union ideals and values.”

In her concluding remarks, Marlene Mizzi said that “it is important that the programme focuses not only on the past, but also on future and on current challenges such as migration, radicalisation and social inclusion. Member States need to also get actively involved and support the programme, and to further raise the programme’s profile by making people more aware of it.”

She also urged the Commission and Member States to implement the recommendations of this report, which will help reach as many citizens as possible to help them understand better the European Union and improve the conditions for direct civic and democratic participation and active dialogue between EU and its citizens.
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