What was your EU topic of the year? In all probability we dealt with it. Check out the Ask EP review of 2014.
At the end of this year, Ask EP will have treated some 10,000 letters and messages addressed to the European Parliament or its President. We receive these messages from all over Europe and from other countries, in almost all EU languages, the main languages being used were English, German and French.
We reply in the EU language in which the citizen has written to us. So if you write to us, for example, in Portuguese or Finnish you will receive our answer in that language.
Our Ask EP service provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. Often this means that we help to explain the complex EU decision making process and to clarify the responsibilities between the different EU institutions and between national and EU level.
Some citizens write to us explaining their personal situation, often linked to economic and social crisis in their country. Others refer to a report in the media and ask for clarification on a specific issue, or they express their view as to how the Parliament and the EU should (or should not) act.
This year, the European elections in May was one of the most popular topics with citizens writing to us both during the pre- and post-election period. Following the elections, the appointment of the new European Commission, and the hearings of the Commissioners-designate in particular, was a frequent topic of enquiry.
During the whole year, citizens’ enquiries ranged from international conflicts (Ukraine-Russia, Israel-Palestine, ISIS attacks, Syria, Gaza), trade agreements (TTIP, CETA), the internal situation in their home country or abroad (referendum or consultation on independence, concerns about fundamental rights, political/economic/social policy), animal welfare issues (stray dogs, bullfighting, wildlife protection), to the revelation of media scoops (NSA mass surveillance, LuxLeaks), or concrete institutional aspects (MEPs’ activities, EP’s three workplaces). Sometimes a specific event (changing of the clocks, official visit of Pope Francis to the EP) motivated citizens to send a message to the Parliament. The list is far from being exhaustive.
Many citizens wrote to us concerning debates and votes in plenary or the work in the parliamentary committees regarding concrete EU legislation. This was the case for example when the tobacco directive was negotiated and finally adopted. As with other EU proposals or decisions, opinions differed, both in favour and against the final compromise.
Keep writing to us. We will keep answering you.
Your Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (Ask EP)