EUROPEAN UNION: Seminar in Cork on ‘Your rights as a European Citizen’

27 April 2017
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie
Liadh ni Riada MEP will be a speaker at the event
The Environmental Pillar will hold a seminar with MEP Liadh Ni Riada tomorrow (Friday, 28 April 2017) to highlight Irish people’s rights to access information as EU citizens. The interactive seminar – Right to Know, Right to Act: Your rights as a European Citizen – will take place at the Imperial Hotel in Cork City from 1pm to 4pm. Speakers include MEP for Ireland’s South constituency, Liadh Ni Riada and Michael Ewing, the Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar.
What is The Environmental Pillar?
The Environmental Pillar is a national social partner, comprising 26 national environmental organisations.  It works to promote the protection and enhancement of the environment, together with the creation of a viable economy and a just society, without compromising the viability of the planet on which we live for current and future generations of all species and ecosystems.
Those attending the event will be provided with an introduction to the Environmental Pillar, the Circular Economy, and environmental policy from a European perspective.
Attendees will also be provided with an overview of how they can use European legislation to make requests to Irish and European institutions to access information on the environment.

The Aarhus Convention entered into force in Ireland in 2012, signifying an important step forward for environmental democracy in this country.

The Aarhus Convention upholds the right of every person to have access to information about the environment, the right to participate in decision-making, and the right of access to justice in environmental matters.

The seminar is taking place as part of the Communicating Europe Initiative, which aims to support projects that will help improve the quality and accessibility of public information on European issues and promote an understanding and awareness of the European Union.

The event is free of charge and tickets are on Eventbrite: https://goo.gl/z3KfPY. Further events will be held in Athlone, Galway and Limerick in the coming months.

Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar, said:
“In a democracy, people have the right to know and should have easy access to information. ‘You might be looking for information about a development activity in your area, or trying to participate in a planning decision-making process, or simply trying to find out if the river you swim in every summer is polluted.

“Public participation helps make decision-makers more accountable and environmental decision-making more transparent. In the past, it has often been denied or avoided in the interest of economic, political and sometimes social policies.

“Our right to access relevant information and to participate is upheld in European law, and we hope that after this event, attendees will be more aware of their rights.”

Member Organisations of the Environmental Pillar:
An Taisce, Bat Conservation Ireland, BirdWatch Ireland, Centre for Environmental Living and Training, Cloughjordan Ecovillage, CoastWatch, Coomhola Salmon Trust, ECO-UNESCO, FEASTA, Forest Friends, Friends of the Earth, Global Action Plan, Gluaiseacht, Good Energies Alliance, Green Foundation Ireland, Green Economy Foundation, Irish Wildlife Trust, Hedge Laying Association of Ireland, Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Irish Seed Savers Association, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Native Woodland Trust, Sonairte, Sustainable Ireland Cooperative (Cultivate), The Organic Centre, VOICE, Zero Waste Alliance.

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