New Europeans have presented a breaktrough proposal to the current impasse on citizens' rights at a hearing called by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Petitions.
At a packed meeting of in the European Parliament, Roger Casale reminded MEPs that the European parliament's December resolution (about "sufficient progress" in the negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the EU) committed the EU to finding a way to give freedom of movement rights to UK citizens.
In a ten minute presentation, New Europeans's award-winning proposal to introduce a #GreenCard4Europe was welcomed by MEPS and experts and is expected to be considered by the European Commission shortly. Mr Barnier has confirmed that he is aware of the proposal.
Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli of the GUE/NGL group said she is pessimistic about the prospects of the EU and UK reaching a Brexit agreement and that it was particularly regrettable the UK had rejected EU demands relating to the protection of citizens’ rights post Brexit. She said, “It is also deplorable that the issue of citizens’ rights was not included in the guidelines agreed by both the EU and UK before Christmas.
Roger Casale, founder of New Europeans, said that while European Council President Donald Tusk was “not to blame for Britain’s decision to leave the EU”, he was responsible for what happens next.His message to the European Commission was:
“Don’t tell us something can’t be done because it is not in your negotiating mandate or you do not have the legal base. Go back to the Council and ask for a new mandate. Go back to your officials and ask them to come up with more imaginative solutions. The point of the European Union is not to put barriers in the way of extending rights and citizenship but actually to find solutions and to find ways of resolving problems and overcoming those barriers and showing the imagination and the leadership. Why? Because it is the European Union is the greatest human rights organisation in the world. Isn't it? Well this is a test of its commitment to those values.”
In his testimony (video available here, with New Europeans' testimony beginning at minute 55) he said:
“Securing the rights of Britons in Europe is a key test for the EU which it cannot afford to fail. Not if the EU wants to continue to speak in the future about a Europe of the Citizens, a Europe that is a safe space for the citizen, a Europe that respects human rights.”
In addressing the UK government, Roger told Prime Minister Theresa May,
“It is time to stop negotiating. Stop negotiating and start legislating. Legislate now for immediate, comprehensive, unilateral guarantees for all EU27 citizens in the UK.”
Roger's full presentation on the award-winning "Green Card for Europe" proposal can be downloaded here.
Click here to read "The Parliament Magazine's" coverage of the event.
Click here to read the official summary of proceedings as well as presentations and speeches from all the speakers.