Enlargement and Citizenship: Looking to the Future

PASOS, October 2013

Enlargement and Citizenship

The project will conduct an in-depth assessment of the achievements of enlargement, the level of engagement of the new member states, and of new EU citizens, organise citizens’ task forces and public seminars, run media campaigns, and publish policy briefs targeted at the public and policymakers in new member states and prospective accession countries and with EU institutions in Brussels.

The project has 3 main objectives: firstly, to educate European citizens and civil society actors in the processes through which the policies of the EU take form, and in communications strategies for advocating for EU policies, and spreading ownership of EU policymaking among EU citizens. Secondly, to raise awareness among the publics in EU members and prospective member countries around the need for citizens’ engagement to ensure their elected representatives and governments fully engage at the EU level in achieving policy decisions that meet the needs of their citizens. Finally, to strengthen citizens’ engagement in the policy process ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2014.

The activities to implement the project foresee: a baseline study on 11 new EU member states’ level of integration and engagement in EU decision-making, opinion polls on citizens’ knowledge of EU policymaking and level of engagement in four new member states; comparative study, focusing on four EU member-states, and also level of EU engagement of two prospective members; create in four new members states a citizens’ taskforce to debate the findings of the studies, and to identify the strengths and weakness of their governments in engaging in EU policymaking, and ways of strengthening citizens’ engagement and organise national roundtables and media outreach around greater governmental and citizens’ engagement in European integration.

The project is being supported by the European Commission’s Europe for Citizens Programme. The aim of the EC programme is to bring Europe closer to its citizens and to enable them to participate fully in the European construction. Through this programme, citizens have the opportunity to be involved in transnational exchanges and cooperation activities, contributing to developing a sense of belonging to common European ideals and encouraging the process of European integration.

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Partners: Institute of Public Affairs, Poland; Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, Latvia; European Institute, Bulgaria; Center for Democracy and Human Rights, Montenegro; Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies, Serbia

Activities:

1. Conduct baseline study on 11 new EU member states’ level of integration and engagement in EU decision-making
2. Opinion polls on citizens’ knowledge of EU policymaking and level of engagement in four new member states, analysis of other existing survey research, and conduct research interviews with EU policymakers
3. Launch of project website
4. Launch of comparative study, focusing on four EU member-states, and also level of EU engagement of two prospective members, setting out achievements to date
5. WIDER AND CLOSER: Influencing EU Policy-Making to Foster Economic Integration and Democratic Transformation, a PASOS international think-tanks’ and policymakers’ conference, Brussels, 17 October 2013
6. Establish in four new members states a citizens’ taskforce to debate the findings of the studies, and to identify the strengths and weakness of their governments in engaging in EU policymaking, and ways of strengthening citizens’ engagement
7. Organise national roundtables and media outreach around greater governmental and citizens’ engagement in European integration
8. Final opinion polls and accompanying media outreach and advocacy