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INTACT - International Network of Towns - Active Citizenship and Twinning


INTACT

ALDA‘s purpose with this project, is to create and develop an Interregional Network whose overall objectives are: to exchange good practices, to promote innovation and know-how by multiplying relations between towns across Europe in the context of the Local Democracy Agenices’ network. The project will strengthen the links between 20 associations from 7 countries participating towns that are particularly involved in citizens’ participation issue and the promotion of EU values in the process of EU integration.
We plan to follow a dynamic method developing international activities supported by local working groups:

 

  • 3 international events: a study visit (on decentralised cooperation and European Active Citizenship), a summer school (tackling EU policies and values on cooperation) and a final meeting on Policy Making
  • Local initiatives (not mentioned in the grant calculator) will gather ideas and resources at the local level towards possible twinning initiatives
  • -We wish to create a web-site and diverse support-material for local working groups and for the promotion of a complex structure as a multiple network of towns.

Objectives of the project

The general objectives of the project are:
- Fostering citizens’ participation and interaction with local and EU institutions through debates on how to improve citizens’ involvement in public life at the local level.
-Raising awareness on EU common values such as democracy and participation, promoting thus Active European citizenship and European identity. By gathering together EU and pre accession countries, we will promote a shared identity in the wider Europe.
- Promoting the involvement of citizens in the EU decision-making process through expressions of local democracy. Making ordinary citizens aware of their responsibility and of the power that they can detain, we try to give them a greater sense of ownership of the EU.
- Creating a network that will promote intercultural dialogue. During international events citizen, particular attention will be paid to multilinguism and cultural diversity.

The most significant expected result is the creation of a Network of Towns that encourages town-twinning as a tool for a long lasting cooperation, especially in the field of citizens' participation. We wish to create a wide-scale network to encourage the multiplication of cooperation agreements. Special attention is given to the EU integration process, focusing thus on eastern-western cooperation.

 

Activities of the project

Partnership is based on a solid past cooperation. Partners have a strong interest and experience in the field of citizen’ participation and town-twinning.
They will:
- participate in the coordination meetings, final evaluation seminar and the international events
- contribute to the drafting of the publication
- manage the relations with local media
- strengthen relations with relevant institutions in their countries
- manage the website
- promote and disseminate project’s activities and results
ALDA will play a coordination role. Partners will organize and manage local activities in their countries/towns.

The action is structured in 5 steps:

1. International study visit
2. Local Working groups
3. International summer school for students
4. Awareness raising and Information campaign
5. Policy making meeting

The coordination will be assured by 2 steering committee meeting. They will define the action plan and the methodology in detail; monitor and evaluate the action; discuss possible problems and amendments. A representative of the EACEA will be invited to facilitate a real partnership between the EC and the future network.
The steering committee will induce partners’ co-decision and co-operations tactics.
An International study visit will be organised in Croatia fostering cooperation between towns/cities and NGOs’ delegates from all over Europe, to debate how to multiply communication channels in a multilateral cooperation framework, focusing on innovative and creative tools.
Working groups will be initiated at the local level (20 partner towns) promoting the idea of networking and twinning, as well as multilateral cooperation.
A policy making meeting is to be organised in Brussels with partners and representatives from local policy making level and civil society/volunteers aiming at building dialogue, reaching agreements, identifying future strategy and drafting joint action plans. New strategies on networking and communication will be developed
An information campaign, including production of brochures and booklets ,will be developed.
The project is designed to build bridges between European towns, creating new communication channels for stakeholders as innovative ways to promote the European identity and the importance of active citizenship. Therefore, disseminating these concepts and taking into account tools to be used, the project is relevant for the Program' objectives.


Visibility of the project

The action will be promoted at a large scale at all levels: a communication plan will be drafted by all the partners during the first steering committee meeting, covering both the local and the European level.
The following methods will ensure project’s visibility:
Media will play an important role for the promotion of project's activities and results, being involved in all phases of the project, reaching the highest number of people belonging to the core target groups. Partners will contribute to the visibility by involving their press offices. Written press, radio and television will be engaged at all levels.
Website: an important mean to promote both project's activities and final results. It will be implemented progressively and will be the key tool for external and internal communication and interaction.
A specific Logo will be designed to ensure an easy but high visibility of the project.
Leaflets will be produced in 9 languages and will be printed in 4500 copies.
DVD: will be produced in 1000 copies showing the steps of creating a network and twinning agreements, to be addressed to local authorities in the involved countries.
EU support Visibility: a particular attention will be paid to make EU visible during events and in all the material diffused

Results will be disseminated through different tools:

Media: written press, radio & television will play a key role in disseminating the final outcomes. It will be engaged at local/regional levels and at the European one.
• Publications (leaflets & newsletters): will include the outcomes of the project, focusing in particular on the “achievements" of the network in matter of twinning activities & citizen participation, including recommendations drafted during the process/evaluation results. They’ll be disseminated Europe-wide and every time partners have the opportunity to interact with civil society/other towns.
Website: is considered an important mean to promote the final results. All the relevant documents (including final recommendations and evaluation results) will be up-loaded on the website promoting them thus on an extensive basis.
Networks: Project's activities and final results will be spread out through the network and a large number of stakeholders will be informed and involved Europe-wide in the proposal. It is important to underline that the partners’ members will act as an important information/dissemination platforms for the project.

Publications

INTACT project leaflet
      

Expected results of the project

Through this project at least 250 persons of 7 different countries will acquire new information, knowledge and skills in the field of town twinning and contribute, thanks to their "new" role, to the setting-up of the multilateral network. At the local level, they will give thus higher importance to the implementation of local policies in the field of citizens’ participation, supporting civil society groups involved in the specific field.
The project will also directly reach 720 people through the different activities (local and international). The project will also have a relevant impact on a wide number of people who are indirectly involved in the project: especially through the publication, structured as a methodological tool, a wide number of citizens and civil society organizations will acquire new skills to better participate in the life of the community and to interact within the local authority also in the framework of twinning agreements.
Concerning the extension of the project, the project seeks to have an impact on different levels:
- local/national, through the local workshops and the awareness campaign
- European, through the international events
- transnational, through the final outputs
- e-dimension, mainly through the website
In terms of outcomes, we expect to create at least 10 new twinning agreements, having thus an impact on 10 different local communities.


Multiplier Effect

The present proposal is based on the wide experience of ALDA in networking and seeks to set-up a network of networks of tows, multiplying thus the potential relations, chaining partners’ members in a large communication platform. All the partners belong to significant and relevant network at the European level and, therefore, grant an added valued in terms of multiplying effects. Another expected effect is the widening of citizens’ activities by further familiarizing them with the concepts of European identity and active citizenship.


Possible future development

The aim of creating a network of towns is to have a tool that could be, once it is set-up, easily maintained by its members, without involving external technical support. Its future development lies on the fact that its members, through joint cooperation projects, will have the opportunity to other towns and NGOs active in the addressed fields.
Involving old, new and future EU countries, we expect to foster EU integration, promoting a dialogue that may lead to a political standardization of European values and local democracy practices.  Therefore, the project aims at launching a process designed to be sustainable.

For more information, please contact:
Meike Westerhaus, ALDA Project Manager Active Citizenship

(meike.westerhaus@aldaintranet.org; +33 (0)3 90 21 45 93).

Barbara Elia, ALDA Financial Officer

Biljana Zasova, ALDA Senjor implementation Coordinator


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