The European Commission proposed to designate 2013 as the “European Year of Citizens” to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the European Union Citizenship under the Maastricht Treaty. European civil society organisations and networks have created a civil society Alliance aiming to advocate for a broader understanding of European citizenship than the one put forward by the European Commission. A wide variety of European networks and platforms have joined the Alliance since its creation.
The Alliance is aiming, in the long run, to mobilise and coordinate a wide civil society engagement throughout the European Year of Citizens 2013, to initiate a European-wide debate on issues related to the exercise of European citizens’ rights and to foster citizens’ participation in the democratic life of the EU. To this end, National Coalitions will be established which will develop in the EU Member states the vision of active and participatory citizenship. They will be a decisive relay for the EYCA initiatives by organising events and activities in line with the guiding principles of the EYCA defined in its Manifesto.
The European Institute, through its membership in the European Civic Forum (a lead actor in the EYCA), volunteered to mobilise and coordinate a National Coalition in Bulgaria.