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Gibraltar’s role within Citizens Advice International

Although many will know the work of the Gibraltar Citizens Advice Bureau, another part of their role is to work with other bodies as part of Citizens Advice International. Citizens Advice International is a non-governmental informational body that represents the interests of free advice-giving organisations around the world.

Citizens Advice International was set-up in 2004, and now in its 15th year is headed by Pili Rodriguez, Chair of CAI, and Bureau Manager of CAB Gibraltar.

Deputy Manager of CAB Gibraltar Ivan Cruz is also a member of CAI having been nominated unanimously as a council member of the CAI Board.

In June 2017 Mr Cruz attended the final conference of the Brexit Project in Brussels together with other council members of the CAI.

The CAI was set up with a mission to promoted throughout the world the opportunity to access free, impartial and confidential advice and information to people about their rights.

The non-profit organisation also aims to represent the interests of its members within international bodies including the European Union.

Citizens Advice International is made up of a network of national and local organisations from across Europe and New Zealand.

Over the years the CAI, including Ms Rodriguez as Chair, have helped other countries develop their own advice organisations.

These advice centres are an open door for people looking for advice internationally.

One of the main aims of the CAI is to observe and maintain human rights and better access to justice across the world.

The CAI is registered in Belgium and works on a European level with the European Citizen Action Service.

The CAI’s active membership is made up of representatives from England, Scotland Wales, Ireland Romania Poland, New Zealand and Gibraltar.

The hope is to empower people to make sound independent decisions with the aid of CAI.

All Citizens Advice International organisations share the same values, principles and concerns. The organisations as part of the CAI organise events and take part in projects to help and support.

Ms Rodriguez and Mr Cruz wanted to highlight that although “Gibraltar is very small, it is doing work on an international scale”.

In April 2017 the CAI together with European Citizen Action Service [ECAS] and the Government of Gibraltar organised a workshop at the University of Gibraltar.

The workshop was titled ‘Brexit and Citizens Rights: The case of Gibraltar’.

The aim of this workshop was to present and discuss possible scenarios for a new EU-UK relationship and their implications for the citizens of Gibraltar, identifying current challenges to their EU rights and exploring the way forward, visions, strategies and possible solutions.


The panel was made up of representatives from ECAS Brussels and Gibraltar with a live video conference by Molly Scott, member of the European Parliament. The panel was presided by Michael Llamas QC-Attorney General of Gibraltar.

The keynote address was delivered by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and presentation of delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia.

The director of ECAS Assya Kavrakova introduced the workshop.

Ms Kavrakova summarised the findings of all Brexit related workshops published by ECAS. These findings of the survey were of the concerns by EU citizens on Restrictions to the right of free movement for both EU and UK citizens.

Citizens value their rights to live and work in another EU state and are uncertain and unconcerned of the future following.


To close the workshop there was a talk by the Minister for Equality and Housing, Samantha Sacramento.

During 2017 a series of events were organised by Scotland, London, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Belgium. The aim was to discuss evidence-based information as part of the Brexit Takeaways Project on how the final deal reached between the EU and the UK might influence citizens’ rights once an agreement is reached.

Citizens value their rights to live and work in another EU state and are uncertain and unconcerned of the future following.

CAI members were invited to join Citizens Advice UK colleagues at the annual Citizens Advice conference in Manchester in November. The theme of the conference was ‘The future of advice’.

The conference was attended by one thousand delegates working in Citizens Advice throughout the UK.

To coincide with this conference CAI held their annual General Assembly which was attended by all CAI Board Members.
The CAI meeting was attended by representatives from Citizens Advice UK, Czech Republic, Romania, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, Wales and Spain.

During the meeting the work of CAI was reviewed.

Brexit and Citizens Rights- Pic 2

CAI has been active in various projects helping and supporting to set up advice organizations in various countries. These countries include Turkey, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia.

CAI has also been supporting legal advice information centres in Malawi, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

CAI has also been made a Governing member of European Citizens Advice Services, (ECAS) Brussels.

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