On 9 May 2015, the European Union celebrates Europe Day in its Member States and around the world. To mark the occasion, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission (HRVP) will open the EU Pavilion of EXPO Milan and exchange views with over 1 000 citizens to hear their ideas and views about the EU.
During this Citizens' Dialogue, President Schulz and HRVP Mogherini will exchange views with students and EXPO visitors about the European Union, its policies regarding sustainability, and the role of Europe in the world.
The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said:
"Sustainability, whether in food production, the use of natural resources or of public finances, is a central objective of the action of the European Union. Sustainability not only makes economic sense, but it is an essential principle to ensure global and inter-generational solidarity. I could not think of a better setting and of a better way to celebrate Europe Day than through a dialogue with citizens on the theme of sustainability at the EXPO Milan. I look forward to hearing their views, ideas and suggestions on how the EU can step up its action for a fairer and more sustainable world for all."
HRVP Federica Mogherini said:
"Expo Milan 2015 is a great opportunity to contribute to public debate on some of the most pressing global challenges of our time. Peaceful sustainable development, equity and quality in the food system and of course gender equality and the eradication of poverty are issues on which the EU is and must remain engaged with its citizens, civil society and international organisations. Celebrating Europe Day with a Citizens' Dialogue at Expo Milan will be a great way to pursue this journey by renewing the original inspiration of our common European project: sharing fundamental values and interests to build peace, development and real progress, and to promote human rights together".
Following a flag-raising ceremony with the EU anthem to mark the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, European Parliament President Martin Schulz, HR/VP Federica Mogherini, and some 1 000 citizens will come together to discuss how the EU should look in the future, how it can face the challenges of sustainability and what its role in the international arena should be.
The debate will be moderated by Monica Maggioni, Director of RaiNews24. Citizens can debate in person or submit comments using the Twitter hashtag #EUdialogues.
After the Citizens' Dialogue, President Schulz and HR/VP Mogherini will officially open the EU Pavilion.
The event will be broadcast by RAI and re-transmitted by EbS at 11:00 CET, and will be followed by a photo opportunity and doorstep statements at the EU Pavilion.
Media accreditation to Citizens' Dialogue in Milan : contact Francesco.LAERA@ec.europa.eu
The concept of Citizens' Dialogues builds on the model of "town hall meetings" or local fora during which politicians listen and debate with citizens about policies and decisions being taken.
On Thursday 30 April 2015, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the themes of the Milan EXPO which outlined a number of actions which the EU and its Member States must undertake to fight undernutrition and safeguard the right to food for everyone.