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Viviane Reding has been the Vice-President of the EU Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship since February 2010.
She began her political career in Luxembourg in 1979, ten years later, she became a Member of the European Parliament. She also became head of the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) delegation in the European People's Party (EEP).
Viviane Reding was born in Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg, in 1951.
Ms Reding, why is 2013 the "European Year of Citizens"?
"My message to the people of Europe is: be aware of your rights as Europeans! Every citizen of the 27 Member States of the European Union is also an EU citizen. EU citizens have the right to reside anywhere in the EU. Anyone who moves to anther EU country must deal with issues regarding the recognition of professional qualifications, access to education and health services, and social security rights.
In all these areas, citizens have rights which apply all across Europe. These rights also apply to students and tourists spending time in the European Union. "
How is this regulated in Luxembourg?
"Anyone who crosses the border to go shopping should be aware of their rights as a consumer. If EU citizens live in a different EU country to their country of origin, they have the right to vote and stand as candidate in European Parliament and municipal elections. And for the cross-border commuters who, almost as a matter of course, change countries every work day to work and to live, the cross-border applicability of existing rights is of great importance. "
What message would you like to give to people living in Europe but away from their European country of origin?
"Europe is what we make of it. Europe is a fantastic adventure! Within the context of the European Year of Citizens, everyone should express their opinion on Europe and be aware of their European rights. I am already looking forward to 30th June, when we can discuss Europe together in the Rockhal in Esch/Alzette! "