VoicEU Project “Value the Voice of Citizens for Understanding Euroscepticism”
EUROPE FOR CITIZENS’ PROGRAMME
Strand2: Democratic engagement and civic participation
2.2: Network of Towns
Description of the project/Summary
The Municipality of Taormina (IT) has promoted a project titled “Value the Voice of Citizens for understanding Euroscepticism – VoicEU” in the field of Europe for Citizens, 2.2 Networks of Towns, with the involvement of Local bodies and CSOs coming from IT, HR, LV, LT, ES, SK, HU, RS, RO, BG, MK, PT, FR and EL with the aim to strength their cooperation on thematic axes, all linked by the key word of “Euroscepticism”.
The project has been focused on understanding and debating Euroscepticism by the point of view of citizens and young people. It has become a reality that requires further examination, debate and understanding also on the eve of the Roma Treaties of 1957 and in this period in which there is a debate about the future of free circulation guarantee by Schengen. The participants have been called to propose and investigate for a full definition of Euroscepticism trough this main questions: Who are those who question Europe and what is behind this new cleavage? Because they do not feel represented? What are their demands? What are the challenges that the EU will face in the ongoing process of the European integration? How can we fight Euroscepticism if there is not a “story” of Europe, alternative to the economic and bureaucratic reading?
The project brought together citizens, local administration, experts and representatives of the civil society to discuss and compare during 5 different transnational thematic events, each of them developing and debating around one specific resource deemed essential for the good understanding of Euroscepticism.
|Event 1||Santiago de Compostela (Spain)||Dates from 12 to 15 March 2017|
|Event 2||Taormina (Italy)||Dates from 22 to 25 June 2017|
|Event 3||Budapest (Hungary)||Dates from 22 to 25 September 2017|
|Event 4||Sofia (Bulgaria)||Dates from 30 Nov to 3 December 2017|
|Event 5||Thessaloniki (Greece)||Dates from 14 to 17 December 2017|
The activities have been scheduled with: Thematic Conferences, Capacity Building, Debate and Comparison, Interactive workshop, Seminars, Visits, Interviews Radio/Talk show, Street events, Press conferences, Storytelling of UE, Evaluation, Dissemination and Networking for the Future. This active commitment had also fostered a sense of ownership of the EU policies and promoted active participation, to build a tighter-knit Europe, according to the principles of active citizenship and participatory democracy. The project involved a big number of participants direct and indirect, and the impact on the local realities where the activities have been made was huge. Therefore, participants have been encouraged to exchange opinions and best practices with the aim to formulate new ideas and concrete future proposals.