Together in Europe
What it is all about
Democratic engagement and civic participation
Together in Europe is a pilot programme stretching over three member states with the aim to develop a platform for democratic engagement for non-national EU citizens living in those countries.
The programme promotes EU citizens cultural and political inclusion in their new communities so that they understand the democratic processes in the country to which they have moved and are able to exercise their democratic rights in that country and make a contribution to the development of EU policy.
The three member states are the UK, Germany and Poland, each with a distinctive experience of free movement. It has four partners, New Europeans and Citizen UK in the UK, The German Institute for Community Organising (DICO), and Institute of Public affairs (IPA) in Poland.
The project will target those who are most at risk of being involuntarily disenfranchised and dislocated from democratic debate at local, national and EU level. (in the UK alone it is estimated that over 100,000 EU citizens were denied their vote to vote in the 2014 EP elections).
The focus is on encouraging large numbers of people from diverse backgrounds to be more active in public life of their new country of residence and exercising their rights as European Citizens.
We will do this through community organising training in the UK, Poland and Germany, enabling EU citizens to organise support and opportunities for themselves in policy areas of interest, making their voice heard as an individual, locally, nationally and in the EU. We will take these issues onboard and present our findings to the European Commission and Parliament in Brussels.
An online toolkit, “Handbook for Democracy for New Europeans”, will be developed for citizen groups to better understand and engage at EU level and guidance on aspects of local democracy. It will be designed to assist EU migrants to be part of the society and community in which they are living. If they are not aware of how the community, town or city operates and the role of public services and NGOs, they are likely to remain excluded or indeed centered in their own national community rather than feeling part of the new community.
New Europeans role
New Europeans will reach out to EU citizen groups in a range of countries and bring activity to EU level. New Europeans will recruit EU citizens to the projects and will also be responsible for ensuring the EU dimension to the project’s work. It will mobilise support in Brussels for disseminating the findings of the project with EU institutions; networks and the European Parliament.