If we do not want the citizens to desert once more the European elections in , political leaders need to regain the citizens' trust and confidence in the European project and show they care about citizens' involvement in the decision-making machine. It co-financed a series of projects to learn how ordinary citizens can be invilved in the EU decision-making and how they view the EU's future. This exercise responds to a basic value of the EU in the 21st century: active citizenship.
A series of grass roots debates, consultations, polls and events aimed at consulting citizens on their visions of Europe have been carried out in a number of Member States, while deliberative polling and consultation has taken place on a pan-European scale. Thousands of citizens took part in those projects throughout the European Union in Over of them have assembled in Brussels on 8 and 9 December to debate on the major concerns which have emerged through Plan D.
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There was a clear consensus among participants that more opportunities of this kind should be provided to involve citizens in the debate over Europe's future. They have consolidated their conclusions into a single set of recommendations annexed to this letter. They have debated those recommendations with decision-makers representing the EU institutions as well as the present Portuguese and future Slovenian Presidencies of the EU:.
They call on the European political parties to address those recommendations in their programmes and to discuss them with citizens in view of the elections to European Parliament in They call upon the EU Heads of State and Government, both in their capacity as European but also as national leaders, to heed those recommendations and thereby encourage the development of active European citizenship, without which there cannot be a truly political Union.
They call for the dialogue with citizens on European issues to be continued and deepened in the future. Citizens expect more action from the EU in the area of social policy and social cohesion in order to fight the black market, reduce salary gaps, promote gender-equality, ease unemployment and to make it attractive to work longer before retiring. The EU should promote equal rights, comparable standard of living in all EU member states and foster equal opportunities through harmonised social and economic policies and a welfare model for all member states. The Member States and the EU should make sure that migrants enjoy equal rights and opportunities and have access to education and work if they observe the laws, rules and values of the host country and commit to learning the language.
The European migration policy , so far based only on restrictive measures, should adopt a more sophisticated approach aiming at the social and economic development of the involved countries. The EU needs to clarify its approach to economic refugee status.
The EU should show more commitment to educational promotion in general but also specifically regarding European issues, e. Exchange projects need further support to encourage young people to recognise the importance of their EU citizenship in the global context. The EU should help preserving, appreciating and respecting the diversity of peoples, knowledge, customs and languages identities - while recognising common and shared European values.
Integration strategies such as the educational policy incorporating the EU into school curricula will favour the development of a European identity. The EU should increase opportunities for a more active, direct participation of European citizens from all walks of life in policy-making through regular citizen Plan D-type participatory projects, debates, public hearings, etc.
More transparency-more influence for European citizens! The EU should make sure that the current citizen recommendations are considered and discussed not only by the EU but also national policy-makers or become part of existing policy-making processes e.
The EU should not only listen but also learn. The EU should become more interactive, citizen friendly and inclusive, recognising the growing significance of regional approach and identity. New and innovative information technique should be used to improve communication with citizens especially young people.
Specific attention has to be paid to the frequently neglected gender issues. Climate change and energy security cannot successfully be dealt with at the national level alone. The EU should be given stronger powers to develop a common energy policy and ensure that Member States live up to the commitments they have made at European level. In a global world, it makes sense for the EU to take greater responsibility than today in the fields of military action, foreign aid and diplomatic relations.
The EU should be able to speak with one voice on a global level to defend its values. The EU can be more efficient than national governments in security, police and struggle against drugs traffic and cartels. Europe should develop a strong voice on the global stage with common foreign and security policies that promote peace , security in regional conflicts democracy and the respect for human rights providing for a strong role model across the world, whilst recognizing the importance of the nation state.
The EU should show a united front in international affairs ; the current practice is influenced too much by national short-term interests and considerations. European citizens want the EU to take the lead when it comes to social, energy and environmental standards on a global level. The EU should develop specific educational and action-oriented programmes for citizens on global issues such as trade, energy and the environment. The EU should coordinate its aid programmes with NG Os engaged in humanitarian work to bring timely and efficient relief to crisis regions or to promote sustainable development.
The EU should lower barriers to international trade as, overall, freer trade benefits developed and developing countries. The EU should show more commitment in the fields of international peacekeeping as well as humanitarian aid during catastrophes. This was a listening exercise so that the European Union can act on the concerns expressed by its citizens.
The Commission aimed to stimulate debate and widen recognition for the added value that the E U provides. The purpose of this was to take stock and further widen and deepen the debate in the period of reflection. It noted that the first phase Plan D focused on the "debate and dialogue" part of the process. The next phase of Plan D will take this process one step further and focus on "D for democracy", further enabling citizens to articulate their wishes directly to decision-makers and making better use of the media in the process.
This new phase has been named "Debate Europe". In October the Commission launched a series of Europe-wide civil society projects for ,which it co-financed.
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In , it promoted a further series of initiatives, targeting young people and women in particular. One of the key lessons from this first round of projects and the concluding conference of Plan D is that the interface between citizens and EU decision-makers needs to be strengthened to ensure that issues of interest and concern Europe-wide are debated and addressed at a European level. There is a need to communicate those Europe-wide issues and concerns which affect to a large degree all of Europe's citizens identified from consulting on a pan-European basis and to communicate these to European political decision-makers and media especially in view of the June European elections.
As a result, the Commission wishes to strengthen the existing debate about the future of Europe and its impact on citizens' daily lives by launching one or more pan-European projects with the following objectives:. At a concluding event they should be presented to European decision makers to give them the opportunity to react and take into account the concerns of the European electorate.
This phase of the project should be completed ideally before the June European elections. In a second phase, the contractor could continue with a series of meetings with newly-elected MEPs and representatives from the principal European media television, radio, press. In carrying out both phases, the contractor will take into account the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue and on-going Commission programmes such as Europe for Citizens and e-Participation.
The resulting projects will involve consortia of civil society organisations with a view to replying to these objectives on a Europe-wide scale. These consultations will complement those planned to be held at local level designed to address concerns focused on European issues with a more local impact. Please read carefully section 10 of this call for proposals concerning the procedures for submitting applications.
The project should begin between 1 September and 1 October and will be in two phases as described above. The first phase will be completed by mid-May before the European elections and the second phase by 1 November However, if, after the signing of the agreement and the start of the project, the beneficiary observes that, for fully justified reasons beyond his control, it becomes impossible to complete the project within the scheduled period, an extension to the eligibility period may be granted. A maximum extension of 3 months will be granted, provided that this is requested before the deadline specified in the grant agreement.
The maximum duration will then be 18 months. The period of eligibility of expenditure resulting from implementation of a project will begin on the day of signature of the grant contract by the last of the parties. If the nature of the project requires the project to start before the contract is signed, expenditure may be considered eligible before the signature of the contract.
Under no circumstances can the eligibility period start before the date of submission of the grant application. It is planned that applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection procedure in July If during the budget year, additional amounts are allocated to boost the initial budget for this call for proposals, they might be allocated to co-financing projects which were adopted at the selection phase but not given priority for co-financing in the overall budget initially available.
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Community contributions are meant to facilitate the implementation of a project which could not otherwise be implemented easily without the support of the European Union. They are based on the co-financing principle. Applicants must include evidence that co-financing is available secured for the remainder of the total cost of the project.
The amount allocated by the Commission may not in any circumstances exceed the amount requested. Moreover, the Commission reserves the right to award a grant lower than the amount requested by the applicant. An organisation is not entitled to receive more than one grant from the Commission for the action covered by the selected project.
The originals of the finance contract must be signed and returned to the Commission immediately for signature. The Commission will be the last party to sign. The payment methods are detailed in the draft contract Article I. Applications which comply with the following criteria will be the subject of an in-depth evaluation. Grant applications are eligible if they are presented by organisations having a legal status and established in one of the 27 Member States. The types of cooperation eligible include partnerships. In no case will financial support alone sponsorship be deemed to constitute a partnership.
However, any financial support accompanied by active intellectual collaboration in the execution of the project will be accepted as a partnership. In all cases, the purpose of partnership is to add value to the project. Applicants will be excluded from participating in this call for proposals if they are in one of the following situations:.
In accordance with Articles 93 to 96 of the Financial Regulation, administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on applicants who are guilty of misrepresentation or are found to have seriously failed to meet their contractual obligations under a previous contract award procedure. To respect these provisions, the applicant and his partners must provide evidence that they are in none of the situations listed in Articles 93 and 94 of the Financial Regulation.