4€ 14° année - n° 81 MAI -JUIN 2006
"European resident citizenship"
After the Swiss canton of Neuchatel in 1849, after the United Kingdom in 1949, after Ireland in 1963, many other European countries have progressively granted political rights to their foreign residents, particularly for the municipal elections.
In 1992, the treaty of Maastricht generalized the right to vote and eligibility for all citizens of European countries living in another country of the European Union.
But everyday, larger parts of the populations of European countries are no longer nationals from an other E.U. state. Their participation to political life raises a question. It has not found a coherent or satisfactory answer.
Obtaining the right of vote for the municipal or local elections in the countries where it does not yet exist would be an important progress ; nevertheless, the discrimination would remain between foreigners from EU countries and non EU countries who would not have the same rights, particularly for the European elections.
It is therefore necessary that all organizations get together on the European scale so that EU membership be granted to all foreign residents regardless of their nationalities. This will not happen without a fight in all European countries, which would benefit from being coordinated. Such is the meaning of the petition : " A million signatures for a european resident citizenship " Such is the meaning of the existence of " The Letter " in Athens.
Many associations believe that all foreign residents should be granted the same rights, regardless of their nationalities, which entails creating a european resident citizenship. A presentation of this claim was made at the Convention on the Future of Europe but it has not been included in the project submitted to the Governments.
Civil Rights pressure groups, associations of immigrants and their supporters must continue to act in all european countries. The fight for the integration of the european resident citizenship in the future EU constitution must go on !