The impact of the Europe for Citizens programme has become more significant with the accession of the Eastern European countries. This is the reason for which it should have a larger budget – stated Csaba Sógor in the EP. The RMDSZ MEP pointed out that the programme aims to give answers to issues raised in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Western Balkans: historical reconciliation, processing the common past and building mutual trust.
Members of the European Parliament voted on Thursday, March 2nd, during the Brussels plenarysession on two reports concerning the periodical monitoring of the 2014-2020 framework for the Europe for Citizens and the Creative Europe programmes.
The RMDSZ MEP stated during the plenary debate that he welcomes that foreseeably there will be more projects within Creative Europe aiming at cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and multilingualism after 2017. „All of this is important not only because there are new minorities in Europe, but also because some communities, that have lived in the same place for several decades have become a minority in their own countries” – he said. In the MEP’s opinion the EU can support these communities in preserving their linguistic and cultural identities by providing more funding for programmes that support such activities and also by making sure an increasing number of small projects receive financial aid. Often, the impediment in accessing European funds is the poor financing of the minority cultural institutions.
In the opinion of Csaba Sógor the Europe for Citizens programme is important for the Hungarian community in Romania, as its goal is to strengthen the European identity, to promote solidarity, tolerance and mutual respect, provide a better understanding of the origin, values and development of the European Union, and encourage active dialogue between the citizens of Europe. As a result of the programme there are more sister city projects in Transylvania now. In agreement with the rapporteur, Csaba Sógor voiced his objection towards the budget allocated for this programme, a small one compared to the fact that it bares more significance since the accession of the eastern member states. „I come from an eastern European member state, and I know exactly that we have not fully recovered from the 40 years of communist dictatorship, we cannot pretend that that era left no marks on our society” – he stressed.
Sógor believes that the report rightfully shows that the budget for the 2014-2020 framework of the only programme entirely dedicated to European citizens – the Europe for Citizens programme - 185,47 million Euros is minuscule compared to the budget allocated for education and culture. The Creative Europe for instance received 1,46 billion Euros, the Erasmus+ was allotted 14,7 billion. „It is not farfetched to hope that for the next framework the Commission could allocate a budget for this programme of 1 Euro for each citizen” – stated the MEP.