Europeans Throughout The World (ETTW) was established in 1984 as an international nonprofit federation to promote cooperation among associations of European expatriates within or outside the EU.
Our aims are:
- To act towards all authorities concerned as a spokesman and defender of European expatriates for the safeguard of their rights
- To encourage the creation of associations having similar goals in countries within the EU and EFTA where such bodies do not exist.
- To carry out studies and issue publications on issues common to the associations of European expatriates
- To establish and implement a programme for joint actions
- To promote the study and knowledge of the rights and duties of European expatrites
- To act in accordance with the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
We know that:
- more than 60 million European citizens are living in a country other than their own and that more than 15 million of them are living and working within the EU
- mobility is expected to grow significantly in the foreseeable future
- people living abroad bring economic gains to both receiving and sending countries
- the right of free movement across borders for European citizens is being challenged, and so.
Our objectives are:
- To ensure democratic rights for all European Union citizens wherever they live (voting for all levels of government and being candidates in all elections).
- To work towards mobile European citizens having the same rights as full time resident citizens of receiving countries, wherever they live in the European Union
- To improve assistance to European citizens everywhere (such as efficient consular assistance, easy access to news from Europe, schools including European Schools, native language training, mutual recognition of diplomas, equal business opportunities everywhere and the right to receive their pensions wherever they decide to live, etc.)
- To promote the European values enshrined in the EU treaties in the diaspora communities worldwide
- To promote successful integration in the countries of residence (through exchange of best practices and agreements with the countries concerned)
- To work for an efficient and well-functioning home-coming policy for those diasporas who return, possibly requiring each member state to create a ‘welcome back home office’ to assist returnees settle with much more ease (employment opportunities, placement of children and youth in schools, universities and institutes, portability of pensions, identity cards and driving licences etc.)
- Developing European academic institutions targeted at retention of talented people on the European continent.
- To have full political representation in their countries of origin by elected overseas MPs as is the case for example in Finland, Croatia, France, Italy & Portugal.
What means should be put in place to implement these objectives :
- A member of the next European Commission must have this area in the list of tasks, and responsible ministers from Member States’ governments should meet regularly on these issues.
- The European Parliament’s committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs should explicitly include this competence too.
- The European Economic and Social Committee should be invited to integrate this policy in its work plan.
- Regular “Expatriate Parliaments” with an advisory role should be promoted in all European countries – and also at European level. The French, Finnish, Swedish and Swiss Expatriate Parliaments could be a very good inspiration for these initiatives.
- ‘i-voting’ (voting via the internet) should be introduced in all EU member states
- Feasibility studies on the economic importance of expatriates should be carried out by the EU and the Council of Europe.
- The EU should seek to include clauses about the rights of European expatriates in future trade agreements with other countries from around the world on a basis of reciprocity.
- A Goodwill Ambassador Corps for Europe of European expats around the world could become useful tool to promote these goals in an informal and non-bureaucratic way.
- The coming EU-2030 Strategy should include aspects on how to benefit most from intra-European and extra-European mobility of people.
- Opportunities should be created for EU funding of measures targeted at promoting cultural diversity in the member states and access should be given for European diaspora NGOs to the EU projects.
- The European Commission should continue to address the concerns of European citizens living abroad in its reports on the European citizenship.
Pierre-Yves le Borgn’
President of ETTW