The European Union is facing up to the mistrust of European citizens. The Maison de l’Europe de Paris and its partners are convinced that, by stimulating the knowledge of the history and the current role of the European Union, the distrust which prevails these days might disappear.
Therefore, the Maison de l’Europe de Paris developed the EUbyCITIZENS project, which aims to reach many citizens from various groups through partners established in 10 countries. The project takes place in Member States (France, Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Romania) and candidate countries (Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia), from East to West in Europe. This political and geographical diversity represents the wealth of European culture. It allows having a contrasting outlook of the EU and its issues and guarantees the relevance of the project.
The goal is to give the keys for a better understanding of European history and current European policies in order to better involve the citizens in the democratic process.
To this end, experts from civil society debate in several countries with citizens representatives on three topics: the history of the European Union, its values, and the impact of European policies in daily life. They write together a booklet entitled “The European Union seen by the European citizens”. The authors could be inspired by a former booklet written by the “Maison de l’Europe de Paris” with 3 partners (from Luxemburg, Poland and Germany) in 2012 and available in 3 languages (French, English and Polish).
Concurrently, several activities (street interviews, conferences, questions on social networks) are put in place in order to collect the opinion of the European citizens from the 10 countries regarding history, values and future European issues.
In the end, the booklet and collected opinions will be brought together in a digital and educational tool in Prezi format.
The partners meet with the experts and citizens representatives: in February 2016 in Paris during a preliminary meeting, and then for 5 meetings to draft the booklet (in April 2016 in Ljubljana, June 2016 in Warsaw, September 2016 in Belgrade, November 2016 in Sofia and January 2017 in Bucharest). In March 2017, the partners finalise the booklet and work on the digital tool. Finally, on 9 May 2017, the launch event takes place in Paris: public presentation of the booklet and the digital presentation during Europe day.
The impact of this project results from the booklet and the digital tool. They guarantee wide dissemination and allow teachers and educators to have access to a pedagogical tool and teaching aid. Our relays, in civil society, in formal and in non formal education, are the first beneficiaries of these tools. They will in turn spread the information.
The quality of the project is guaranteed by the cooperation between experienced partners, which call on experts and citizens from 10 different European countries.