Empowering civil society for a citizens Europe
“We are Europe” initiative, co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union, is aimed at supporting the development and work of civil society organisations across Europe.
Building on their long training experience, the Union of European Federalists (UEF) and the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) have got together to offer a complete scheme of activities specifically designed to help citizens’ organisations build up their capabilities and cooperate with one another across borders to engage themselves and their members in the debate on the future of Europe.
The main focus of the We are Europe programme is to help other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) reinforce their organisation’s practical skills in the fields of political communication, lobbying, membership growth, network consolidation or policy development to better prepare themselves to be active participants in the ongoing debate on the future of Europe, particularly in the run up to the European elections.
With the European elections approaching fast and the threat of nationalism and populism, the work of CSOs across Europe is more important than ever. CSOs are key in the development of a sound European democracy, which will be the only response possible to the shift towards national retreat and xenophobia.
In the period going from October 2018 until December 2019, organisations participating in the “We are Europe” scheme will be able to take part in the following initiatives:
1. European Academies: high-quality skills-based training by experienced practitioners from the world of European civil society, conceived to ensure top level of exchange and interaction. Their format will be based on cooperative methods of deliberation and include simulations.
2. European Civil Society Meet-Ups: participatory policy-oriented seminars conceived to provide CSOs with a chance to share their main priorities in specific fields with other organisations, forge a common view on the main challenges facing civil society in Europe and build long-term solid partnerships with like-minded stakeholders.
3. Citizens Agorae: participatory and citizens-oriented public events co-organised by UEF and CSOs participating in the We are Europe Academies and European Meet-Ups in main European cities. The organisation of such events aims at consolidating the participating organisations’ skills, offering them political visibility and reinforcing cross-border partnerships.
Who can participate?
Civil Society Organisations meeting the following criteria are eligible to participate in the “We are Europe” programme:
- Applying CSOs need to be officially registered in an EU member state, an EU-candidate country, a country being part of the European Economic Area or Switzerland;
- Applying CSOs must agree with the main objectives of the “We are Europe” scheme and pursue the objective of an ever closer union between European citizens and nations;
- Priority will be given to CSOs operating in politically hostile environments (to be argued by the applying CSO in the application motivation).