Press conference to launch Courage Calls: A Citizens' Rights Manifesto for #the5million

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 14:00 to 16:00

Citizens' rights is the great unvoiced issue in the UK General Election - that needs to change. 


For recording of press conference, click here



Like the suffragettes before them, #the5million EU27 citizens in the UK and Britons in the EU do not want to be treated as second class citizens.

But that is the unacceptable price they are currently being asked to pay for Brexit.​

New Europeans has been fighting for the rights of #the5million since 2013. 

Three and half years after the referendum, we are still a very long way from a fair outcome.

Courage Calls: A Citizens' Rights Manifesto for #the5million seeks to remedy this.

"Courage calls to courage everywhere and its voice cannot be denied!"  ​

Following a preparatory meeting in London in collaboration with the #EmilyMatters Campaign,

Thanks to the #Emilymatters campaign, the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, (played by actor Kate Willoughby), will join New Europeans to launch the manifesto in Brussels.

Watch interview with Kate Wiilloughby and her sister suffragettes Roberta Gotti and Natasha Anne Kelleher here



The Courage Calls Manifesto is a series of demands or "calls to courage" by EU citizens in the UK and Britons abroad:

​These #CourageCalls include:

* the call for for unilateral guarantees of rights anchored in primary legislation, 

* the call for a physical proof of status such as an#EUGreenCard to safeguard free ​movement rights,

* the call for a simple declaratory scheme to replace the EUSS registration scheme,
* the call for voting rights in local elections to be retained,

* the call for the right to obtain free citizenship and therefore​ to vote in all elections.

The calls form the basis of five pledges to be put to candidates​ in the UK General election and to members of the recently elected European parliament. 

All are being asked to do their best to work for these outcomes.

Copies of the manifesto will be available at the meeting.


Kate Willoughby 

Kate will perform her acclaimed Courage Calls! speech, which has attracted media coverage across Europe, including in The Guardian and Der Spiegel

 Through the transformational power of storytelling, she will bring to life the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison with a stirring speech from the heart.  The speech is an uplifting celebration of our hard won human rights and democracy, as well as a timely reminder of what is at stake today.

Else Kvist 

Else will speak about her experiences as an EU citizen already settled with family in the UK, directly affected by Brexit and tell the story of how she had her vote denied in the European elections.

Roger Casale

Roger will present Courage Calls: A Citizens' Rights Manifesto for #the5million and speak about the campaign to fully safeguard the rights and status of #the5million.

Dr Michaela Benson 

Michaela will speak about the experience of UK citizens resident in the EU.

Maria Laura Franciosi 

Maria Laura will moderate the discussion.



Kate Willoughby (Emily Wilding Davison)

Kate Willoughby is an actor and writer. Bringing people together, her powerful message from the past to the present, are resonating with people in the UK and across Europe.

Through her campaign group #EmilyMatters, she is working with New Europeans to highlight the connection between the UK women’s suffrage movement and the urgent need for all voices to be heard in Brexit.


Else Kvist

Else is a UK based freelance journalist and TV/film researcher, who was denied her vote in the EU Elections.

Since then Else has been given a voice by New Europeans, speaking up for the millions of EU citizens, who feel sidelined by Brexit. 

Else's story was featured in Danish national newspaper Berlingske Tidende following an investigation by the UK Electoral Commission into the EU elections. 

Else is also part of an ongoing BBC 5 Live Radio panel, with other EU citizens discussing Brexit.


Roger Casale

Roger Casale is an award-winning civil rights campaigner and  founder of New Europeans, an organisation that campaigns for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and Britons in Europe and for a Europe of the citizens.

Roger won the Financial Times Future of Britain Award in 2017 for the proposal to issue an "EU Green Card" to ring-fence the rights and status of EU citizens and Britons abroad post Brexit. In 2019 the Green Card proposal won the Schwarzkopf Young Europe Award following an online vote among young Europeans between the ages of 18 and 35.

He is a former Labour Member of Parliament and a Commendatore dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.


Dr Michaela Benson

Michaela is currently a research leader for the project BrExpats: freedom of movement, citizenship and Brexit in the lives of Britons resident in the European Union funded by the UK in a Changing EU. 

This project examines the implications of Brexit for Britons resident in other EU member states and their lived experiences as it unfolds.

Her earlier work on the British in rural France received awards and recognition including the prestigious Sociological Review Fellowship.


Maria Laura Franciosi

Maria Laura Franciosi is a freelance journalist on European affairs and the founding Chair of the Press Club Brussels Europe in Brussels. 

Previously she worked for the foreign service of ANSA (the biggest Italian News Agency) from 1977 to 2001 in Roma, then London and moved to Brussels in 1993 as head of service. 

In 2018 Maria Laura was awarded the Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella d'Italia.


To register for this event, please email: [email protected]


For more information contact: 

Roger Casale

[email protected] 

+44 (0) 7710 247968

Brussels Press Club
Rue Froissart, 93
1000 Brussels

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