“Citizenship is the right to have rights”

Submmited by Maria Nehme on Thursday, 21 March 2013
Citizenship seminar, Raluca Idor

Get to know our participants at the “Citizenship – what is it all about?” seminar in Berlin. We will share some short interviews from the week of discussions and workshops!

Born in Romania, the 23-year old “youth activist” Raluca Idor moved to Flensburg, Germany in 2011 for a Master´s programme in European studies. Beside studying, Raluca is also freelancing at a think-tank, which focuses on the empowerment of European youth.

You define yourself as a “youth activist”, what does this actually mean?

As a youth activist, I face different situations which take me “out of my comfort zone”, it broadens my perspectives. Trough my involvement in social projects, I try to motivate and empower other young Europeans to be active citizens, to dare put into practice their ideas for improvements in society. I believe there is a strong need for people that collectively want to make a difference.

What is your opinion about Citizenship - the topic of the seminar?

It is interesting, although rather controversial, and that definitely catches my curiosity. I do not only perceive Citizenship as a set of rights and duties but I also look at it from another perspective, as a sense of belonging. It is a recognition of individuals and their wish to be part of a bigger “us”. I like how Hannah Arendt* defined it by saying that “Citizenship is the right to have rights”. A person without the fundamental protection from the state has limited rights in most societies.

What does the seminar offer you?

It gives me the chance to learn about different perceptions of Citizenship and the chance to ask the other participants how the term discussed in their home countries. Beside enjoying the diversity of ideas and connecting with people from outside the EU borders, it will hopefully lead to finding some common points and maybe even future project cooperation.

What do you personally contribute with to the seminar?

My personal knowledge in the field, some concrete examples from Romania and not to forget, a lot of energy, enthusiasm and my time to listen and learn from the other participants! Since 2013 is the “European year of Citizens”, I want to encourage others to engage in this topic and to gain experiences, especially through Citizens of Europe.

 

*Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a German-Jewish-American political theorist and philosopher advocating the importance of pluralism in political theory.

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