Fabian Demicoli

Citizens at the heart of Europe


As Rapporteur on behalf of the EESC GRTU's Director General
Vincent Farrugia had the privilege of presenting Opinions on a number of issues
related to obstacles faced by EU Citizens in their enjoyment of their European
Citizenship rights. These included Opinions on "Removal of Cross Border Tax
Obstacles"(ECO/295), "Removal of Double Taxation"(ECO/304) and another one on
problems of E-Procurement across-boarder(INT/554) and yet another on Budgetary
Surveillance within the context of current austerity programmes (ECO/285).

Lately he presented the Opinion on problems of
Inheritance Tax in EU member states (ECO/328). This Opinion highlights the
problem faced by a growing number of EU Citizens who own property across
boarder other than in their own country. This number increases by about a
million a year and will reach 14 million by 2013. The Opinion emphasizes the
importance of creating a more acceptable legislative framework so that EU
Citizens will not suffer unacceptable double taxation. The Opinion presses the
need of urgent reform and recommends action so that citizens are given their
due tax credit once an approved recommended system is applied across the EU.

The issue of European Citizens right to enjoy to the
full their Citizens rights is very important and Mr Farrugia considers it as
one of the prime tasks at EESC to work for a greater awareness of European
Citizens rights as fundamental to more EU Citizens appreciating why sacrifices
to create a better Europe are more than worthwhile. Too many obstacles however
remain and we need to work harder to identify and eradicate these obstacles.

As member of the Coordinating Group of the 2013
European Year of Citizens he is also recommending that 2013 should see the
formulation of a European Charter of Citizens Rights. The rights are there, but
they are written on too many documents. We should end 2013 with a written and
acceptable Charter of Rights. Vincent Farrugia is a strong believer that the
single market functions more effectively and EU Citizens become more aware of
their rights as EU Citizens if specific action is taken to remove all obstacles
hampering citizens from the enjoyment of their European Citizens Rights. Europe
is for citizens.

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