A report adopted by the European Parliament highlights the problems and the future prospects of Union citizenship. MEPs point out that enlargement has led to a considerable rise in the number of EU citizens resident outside their Member State of origin but that very few are aware of their rights.Parliament is disappointed at the low number of EU citizens resident in a Member State other than their own who make use of their right to vote in European or local elections.
Another key right of European citizenship, that of protection by the diplomatic authorities of any Member States when outside the EU, must be beefed up, say MEPs. The Union should also take steps to protect its citizens in non-EU countries, notably by seeking to prevent EU citizens from being subjected to the death penalty.
Lastly, the House calls on the Commission to continue negotiating for visa-free travel to non-EU countries for all Member States. It criticises the "injustice" whereby citizens of some Member States must apply for visas whereas others do not, notably in connection with US "visa waiver program" which is not yet available to citizens of all EU Member States.
REF. : 20090401IPR53239
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