The project “A Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe” of the initiative “A Soul for Europe” is one of 27 projects selected for funding by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency within the framework of the Europe for Citizens Programme Action 2-Measure 3 – 2012: "Support to projects initiated by civil society organisations".
Europe is in a vital phase of development. Financial troubles and antidemocratic tendencies are testing the strength of its original ideas. To boost the European unification process, the involvement of its citizens is needed. They have to be aware of, understand and accept their responsibility for a democratic Europe. Since participation, social justice and democracy are culturally coded values, the project “A Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe” aims to raise awareness and activate this responsibility through the mobilising power of culture.
The Cultural Coalition uses the capacity of culture to foster citizens’ feelings of belonging to a European community. It addresses local issues through European perspectives; facilitates dialogue between citizens and decision-makers; enables citizens to participate actively in the policy-making process; provides a constant flow of ideas among stakeholders at all levels and gives visibility to best-practices of citizens’ engagement.
The project’s overall aim is a coalition starting from “A Soul for Europe”’s Strategy Group, its nine partner organisations (European House for Culture, Felix Meritis Foundation, Setepés, Stiftung Zukunft Berlin, AltArt Foundation, Foundation for Urban Projects and Research, Image Aiguë, N-ost), the “A Soul for Europe” Advisory Board Parliamentarian Working Group. It will further grow by including different target groups, e.g. policy makers and businesses.
Workshops and conferences will provide a framework for discussion among citizens and leaders from the fields of culture, economy, and politics. The project is accompanied by a communication campaign and will culminate in activities in the European Year of Citizens 2013 and future years.
The EU’s Europe for Citizens Programme aims 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.