The EU’s new Europe for Citizens programme has been blocked by the UK Parliament since November 2013. Today (Monday 7th April 2014) a motion on the ‘scrutiny reserve’ is due to pass in the House of Commons which will enable the UK government immediately to give the green light to allow the programme to start.
Europe for Citizens is a package of measures agreed under the EU’s new multi-annual financial framework for the dissemination of public information about the EU. For 2014 the agreed topics include encouragement to participate in the European Parliamentary elections and research into voters’ attitudes, as well as projects to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Andrew Duff MEP, who leads for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe on constitutional affairs, said:
‘It is embarrassing for me, as a British MEP, to see how the combined forces of euroscepticism in the UK government and parliament have held up this excellent citizens’ programme not only in the UK but across the whole EU.
‘Many civil society organisations, media and think-tanks are ready to go with good projects whose purpose is to deepen popular understanding of the importance of engaging with the European Union. €93.4m has been allocated to the programme from the EU budget for 2014.’