Today many things in our ordinary lives remind us that we live in the European Union. The passport and the euro notes make the EU visible to the citizens. However, the European political project has been -and still is- led by elites. The rejection of the Constitutional treaty in France and the Netherlands back in 2005 was a turning point in the traditional tacit consensus of the European integration process. Since 2006, the European Parliament and the European Commission have adopted resolutions and initiatives to encourage public engagement. The existing EU system is acknowledged to have a number of strengths, but also crucial weaknesses. The Commission has designated 2013 the European Year of Citizens in a bid to raise people's awareness of civil rights and European issues. But a European identity should not be a top-down construction.
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