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APProach


Timespan: April 2018 - April 2020
 
The project at a glance: 

There are many practical obstacles that EU citizens face when deciding to move with their families to another EU country: poor administrative services, social inclusion, schooling insertion, additional requirements to register to vote/stand as a candidate in the European Parliament or in the municipal elections. All of this can be reduced to an overall communication problem that affects all aspects of EU citizens’ inclusion.

The project will focus its attention on three important aspects of EU Mobile Citizens (EUMCs) inclusion:

  1. Access to voting system
  2. Kids schooling enrolment
  3. EUMCs’ active participation in civic life.

The project encompasses relevant horizontal priorities:

  1. The overall improvement of internal and external communication concerning EU mobility.
  2. Training of municipal staff: English training and awareness raising concerning EU mobile citizens’ rights. A great majority of EU citizens that decide to move abroad speaks English, at least at B1 level, it is therefore important that civil servants based in the selected municipalities can use this language to share information concerning bureaucratic aspects and services for EUMCs.
  3. Training of EU mobile citizens concerning their rights when moving to another EU country and about procedures to facilitate their access to local services (especially vote, schooling, decision making).

It is important to notice that the important result of the project won’t be the IT tools themselves and its use by EUMCs during the project, but the awareness raising processes that will be generated through the project activities, especially through the focus groups, the awareness raising training section, etc. Indeed, the fact that these tools will be co-developed with civil servants’ and EUMCs’ active contribution will enhance the awareness raising process towards EU mobile citizens’ free movement rights.

Objectives:

  1. facilitate the circulation of information and guidelines to promote the effective exercise of free movement rights of EUMCs living elsewhere in Europe and future mobile EU citizens
  2. study the challenges faced by local authorities when welcoming EUMCs
  3. propose efficient solutions regarding these challenges

These objectives will be realized with the help of various tools. Hence, the project will:

  1. Form a strong consortium mixing EU small-medium-large size municipalities;
  2. Establish new direct communication channels between EUMCs and Municipalities, by involving already existing expats’ networks;
  3. Assess the efficiency of provided services and existing challenges faced by each local authority when welcoming EUMCs;
  4. Exchange best practices;
  5. Develop a digital ecosystem (APP, online platform, community management, social media engagement) based on the relevant information collected during the first phase, which gathers step-by-step guidelines to facilitate EU mobile citizens’ involvement in community decision making;
  6. Conduct a final assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the digital ecosystem developed;
  7. Train local authorities and EUMC on the use and promotion of the APP;
  8. Disseminate the project results (APP, platform, best practices, needs) at European level
  9. Promote EU active citizenship

Activities:

Phase 1: Preparation and context analysis (M2 – M8)

  • Management and administrative arrangements; setting a Communication and Dissemination Pla; implementing a kick-off meeting in Paris
  • Focus groups study: carried out simultaneously in each municipality involved with local authorities’ selected staff and with EUMCs, with the aim of studying system deficiencies, challenges and needs concerning EU citizens’ mobility.
  • APP and platform preparation

Phase 2: Implementation: IT tools development and exchange of best practices (M6 - M16):

  • Exchange of best practices of municipalities involved and other relevant stakeholders, with participation of Associate Partners
  • Development of IT tools: the APP and online platform;
  • Assessment and adjustment of the APP through focus groups;
  • Building and empowering of a community of interest

Phase 3: Dissemination (M17 - M24)

  • External office campaign and events
  • Publications, with two important publications: one focused on the analysis carried out during the project implementation (surveys, focus groups, trainings) and the second a solution manual, including all possible solutions to obstacles detected within the project focus groups
  • Promotional material: the project aims at realising two webinars (an explanatory webinar presenting the APP and online platform (sections, functions, and its characteristics); and a webinar offering guidelines for public local stakeholders concerning how to involve EUMCs in local life and presenting EUMCs free movement rights) and a short promotional video to promote the “APProach” APP and the active participation of EUMCs.

 

Partners:
Lead partner:

  • ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy – France

Project partners:

  • Municipality of Paris - France
  • Municipality of Milan – Italy
  • Municipality of Nea Smyrni – Greece
  • Municipality of Etterbeek – Belgium
  • Municipality of Vejle – Denmark
  • Municipality of Lisbon – Portugal

Associate partners:

  • Municipality of Warsaw – Poland
  • Municipality of Amsterdam - Netherlands


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