The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the EU and all EU citizens. The measures introduced by the Member States – lockdowns, quarantines and curfews – have had an unprecedented effect on freedom of movement in the EU.
Mobile EU citizens have been particularly affected, often unable to return home and left confused by various unilateral rules introduced by their home and host countries. The COVID19 pandemic has magnified the obstacles that mobile EU citizens have been facing in their host countries in recent years. Citizens’ access to healthcare, social benefits and the job market, in addition to their entry and residence rights and fundamental right to family life, have all been put at grave risk as a result of the pandemic. Everyone has had to endure the crisis but the pressure placed on those exercising freedom of movement has been particularly high. Separated from both their host communities and their loved ones back home, mobile EU citizens have often felt as if they were under a double lockdown, according to ECAS research.
The conference State of the Union Citizens’ Rights 2021: Moving Together Beyond the Pandemic will take stock of the challenges brought by the pandemic for mobile EU citizens in 2020 and discuss how to restore freedom of movement in post-COVID-19 times. As we unlock our homes, borders and economies, how can we start moving together towards a higher standard of protection of EU citizens’ rights?
The first day of the conference will outline the main challenges and the consequences of COVID-19 on various aspects of EU mobile citizens’ lives. During the second day, we will look towards the future, discussing with our panelists what we may expect, hope for and prepare for in the EU-rights field in the aftermath of difficult 2020 year, which comprised of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and the debate on the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027. The conference will also feature the winners of the 1st edition of ECAS’ HOME Awards (Hosts Open for Mobile Europeans). The aim of the competition is to promote initiatives aimed at fostering the inclusion of mobile EU citizens. Three winners competing in three different categories have been selected by citizens through a crowdsourcing process. An additional award (ECAS’ Award) will be given to a practice which ECAS finds closest to its mission.
Additionally, the conference marks the conclusion of the Improving Inclusion of EU Mobile Citizens (IMPEU) project. On the occasion, ECAS’s Citizens’ Rights Training Coordinator, Petar Markovic, is set to examine the obstacles to freedom of movement and political participation. The project coordinator, Ecaterina Constantinova, will also be present to elaborate on the IMPEU online training, while discussing the MOOC’s capacity to enhance EU rights by improving civil servants knowledge.
21 Jan 2021 @ 09:30 am
22 Jan 2021 @ 11:30 am
Duration: 1 days, 2 hours