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18.01.2006   The Greens-EFA group supports principal ideas of the Catania report.

Honourable colleagues,

 

The Greens-EFA group supports principal ideas of MEP Catania's report.

 

We do consider that EU citizenship based on residence should be the ultimate goal, making the European Union a genuine political community.

 

Those residing legally and on a long-term basis in the EU have to be granted political rights irrespective of his or her original nationality.

 

The crucial reality of the enlarged EU is that among those covered by the term "third-country national" are half a million people who are not nationals of any state. They are are former citizens of the USSR, a state which exists no more. These people constitute 20 percent of the population in Latvia and 9 percent in Estonia. 

 

Dear colleagues! As elected representatives, we cherish the right to vote and stand for elections. Therefore I ask you to express your solidarity with those who for 15 years have been deprived of their political rights.    

 

By adopting the Catania report the Parliament will signal to the authorities of Latvia and Estonia that their policy of ignoring the claim for equal rights of all the permanent residents has to end.

 

 

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