Towards Democratic and Inclusive Europe: EP Elections and Active Citizens Participation and Contribution (EUact2)

The Slovak think tank GLOBSEC launched a new two-year project: “Towards Democratic and Inclusive Europe: EP Elections and Active Citizens Participation and Contribution” (EUact2), in association with European Movement Ireland, ELIAMEP, and IDM.

The project seeks to benefit from the variety of partners engaged, which will enable better analysis, a wider audience for directly and indirectly involved participants, and the exchange of good practices among partners. As it was created with a gender-sensitive perspective, it aims for equal gender involvement in all activities. By raising citizens‘ awareness, increasing their level of engagement, deepening their understanding of their rights, values, EU institutions, policies, benefits, and responsibilities as EU citizens, as well as by inciting reflections and debates, it will promote citizens‘ participation and contribution to the democratic and civil life of the Union.

The target group is primarily, but not exclusively, citizens of partner countries (Austria, Greece, Ireland, Slovakia). The project aims to reach citizens in minimum 21 EU countries through carefully designed activities (e.g. transnational reflection groups, public debates and forums), since in each country there is some need of improvement in citizens’ engagement.

Although the gap between women and men voters has narrowed by 1%, it continues to exist, and nationalist populism and Euroscepticism have not yet been defeated, but are reinforced by an increase in disinformation. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a new mix of challenges in daily lives of the EU citizens. What to do? How can citizens‘ understanding of the EU be improved?; How to broaden ownership of the European project and build trust in the EU’s promise to create a better future for all?; with an open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive Union based on rule of law?

Project objectives:

  • to assess the attitudes towards the EU and the level of civic activism among young people,
  • to provide channels for and encourage democratic participation of citizens, especially young people,
  • to deepen citizens knowledge of the EU and their awareness of rights and values,
  • to enhance the democratic legitimacy of the EU decision-making process by offering valuable recommendations to EU policymakers.

The bottom-up approach will be used, involving citizens, especially young people, directly and giving them an opportunity to influence policies in the EU, through:

  • conducting focus groups and gathering opinions from the youth
  • analysing data and drafting policies and practical solutions with young leaders’ involvement,
  • organizing public large-scale and small-scale educational and motivational debates, with an innovative element of using e-democracy tools,
  • carrying out a social media campaign geared towards EP elections 2024, and
  • introducing recommendations to EU policymakers.

Building a new generation of knowledgeable, active and engaged citizens is imperative to ensure open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive Union based on rule of law.

Duration: 24 months
Funding: EU
Principle coordinator for the project: Vladislava Gubalova, GLOBSEC

More information can be found on the project website.