Timespan: 16 months (01/09/2018 - 31/12/2019)
In the light of 2019 upcoming elections, CROSS OVER focuses on fostering participation in the European Parliament elections and active engagement in the EU community life by all its citizens, by improving conditions for democratic civic commitment. More specifically, CROSS OVER strives to address one of the main priorities listed under the Commission 2018 Work Programme for the Implementation of the Europe for citizens programme: debating the future of Europe and challenging Euroscepticism, while nourishing a widespread sense of belonging to the EU space.
The project gathers 14 partners from 11 countries that could be divided in two groups. The first consists of organisations based in EU member states where the participation in 2014 European Parliament elections was: Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. The caravan tour foreseen by the project will cover precisely their territories which will also host both local and international events. The second group is composed by partners located in EU member states with the highest levels of participation: Malta, Italy, Denmark and Sweden. The participation of such countries in the international events is meant to discuss the factors that motivated their voters and share knowledge and experience with the countries whose youth demonstrates scares interest in the elections.
COVER benefits young citizens by empowering them in the field of political responsibility, while providing a youth-centred opportunity for shared reflections on the future of the EU. The methodology applied encompasses a range of non-formal education tools, sensitive to diversity in backgrounds and personal attitudes, while promoting inclusive dialogue.
The main objectives of the project are to:
- Increase transnational information and sensitivity towards voting as the most powerful tool to be actively part of the EU;
- Challenge Eurosceptic views based on a deeper knowledge and constructive debate towards the EU;
- Foster a critical understanding of the European context as a common good;
- Create networks pursuing assertiveness of active citizenship
In such a framework, the project will:
- Organise trips guided by volunteers, touching upon six Eurosceptic Member States (Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland);
- Arrange 6 local paths initiated by the volunteers’ trips – each one including several activities (debates, fora, artistic contests, surveys) and revolving around a specific topic (e.g. what is the EU, its future, EU elections, etc.);
- Set up 6 international events involving both partners and youth in actions of awareness raising and intercultural dialogue;
- Develop 6 post-elections paths, to critically discuss results and what’s next for the EU.
What is the EU? – Zagreb, Croatia
Local path 1
The first local path will encompass a door-to-door survey to collect citizens’ view about the EU, with a specific focus on the perceived strengths and weaknesses by the younger generations. Ad hoc round tables, citizens panels and debates will be set up on the topic, especially involving local youngsters. In such a framework, a creative competition called “EU2ME” will be launched, aimed at using arts (drawings, sculptures, comics, etc.) to express what is the EU according to the participants.
1st International event
The first international event is aimed at gathering partners together and conveying young participants to build strong networks. They will initiate reflection on the EU and its mission and the importance of preserving EU values. They will share the results of the local path and the artistic outputs produced under the EU2ME competition (the most voted will be awarded). Participants will follow a brief training about multiplying agency and intercultural competences coordinated by project partners.
What does the EU deal with? - Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia
Local path 2
The second local path will create focus groups (both citizens and young people) working on EU paramount policies and how they affect citizens’ daily lives. Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a TED talk, by proposing an idea they would share before the others. Those selected by the majority will propose a life- changing story, experience or an aspect of their personal life that has been changed or affected by an EU provided opportunity or policy.
2nd International event
By adopting world café and focus group methodologies, the second international event will serve as an active and participative discussion on EU key policies. Partners and participants will share results on the focus groups’ work, and comment on the inspiration drawn from the TED talks previously held. This activity is conceived as a sort of preparation of the contents that will be developed in the MEP (Module European Parliament) during the 3rd international event.
The EU Parliament and political representation - Érd, Hungary
Local path 3
This local path will shed a light on the functioning of the EU Parliament, and the agenda of the political parties represented therein. First participants will critically discuss the democratic deficit in political representation at the EU level in focus groups. They will be then divided in groups representing an EU political party each. In each group, a “candidate” will be chosen to participate in a debate à l’americaine (2min./candidate) versus another candidate discussing an EU hot topic.
3rd International event
The 3rd International event will consist of a MEP, a simulation of the EU Parliament assembly, with participants divided the committees and dealing with assigned dossiers. This will be the occasion for youngsters to share knowledge and discuss proposals. Participants will be then required to draft a law proposal tackling an issue, according to the committee they belong to. A representative for each committee will present the proposal to the assembly that will in turn either approve or reject it.
The future of the EU and its challenges - Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Local path 4
This local path will focus on discussing EU focus scenarios in the light of the current challenges it is facing (e.g. migration flows, economic crisis). Participants will watch the movie “The Great European Disaster” and be subsequently convened around a table for a brainstorming exercise to identify EU major challenges and discuss potential future scenarios. This will serve as inspiration for the subject of a short cartoon to be written by participants. The best one will be actually realised.
4th International event
During the fourth international event, the “hot topics” for the EU will be treated and discussed in an exchange of perspectives between local authorities, civil society associations and young citizens. Based on the challenges identified during the local path, they will engage in a game called BETonEU: they will act as bookmakers by rating the most and least suitable strategies to tackle the challenges at stake. Results of the local path will be shared and the best cartoon script awarded.
EU elections and Euroscepticism - Prague, Czech Republic
Local path 6
The fifth local path will focus on EU elections and the issue of abstention of Euroscepticism. Participants will collect several and diversified sources of information on the topics (local and foreign newspaper, blog news on EU politics, social networks posts, etc) and critically analyse them, by adding their own impressions. Subsequently, they themselves will work in teams of “jEUrnalists” by interviewing a number of people in the street in a two hours time, in order to collect feedbacks.
5th International event
The fifth international event will resemble a sort of talk show, in which each partner will illustrate the pre- election scenario in its own country, with the respective forecasts on voting preferences and Eurosceptic propaganda. In addition, participants will present the results of their journalistic experience in the form of a short newspaper article or presentation that will be uploaded on the project’s dedicated webpage.
Local authorities for greater EU political participation - Gdańsk, Poland
Local path 6
This local path revolves around dynamics of co-design of strategies to fight abstention among youth and foster political participation in EU affairs. Once divided in groups, participants will respond to a call for proposal named “All roads lead to EU” to design a campaign that local authorities could implement to encourage local youth to be active EU citizens. They will be asked to invent catchy slogans- the best will be exposed on the Municipality building façade in the form of a banner.
6th International event
A final international event will be organised about one month after the EU elections. This will be the very occasion for partners to exchange good practices implemented at the local level to raise youth’s interest in EU political participation and active citizenship, and discuss ideas for campaign suggested by participants. Results of the local path will be shared, the best slogan awarded, and projects outcomes, overall impressions and opportunities for future cooperation explored.
What’s next? - Zagreb, Croatia; Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia; Érd, Hungary; Banská Bystrica, Slovakia; Prague, Czech Republic; Gdańsk, Poland
Participants will be involved in 3 events organised by each hosting partner and provided with inputs by all the others on a distance: workshops, round tables and fora discussing elections outcomes and potential consequences. Participants will draft their “VID card”(Voter identity) ,identifying what changed in their attitudes towards EU political participation and responsibility vis à vis those prior their involvement in the project (e.g. level on trust in EU, sense of belonging to the EU, etc.)
Leading partner: Agora CE, Czech Republic
- Croatian Country Association, Croatia
- Obcina Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia
- Érd Megyei Jogú Város Önkormányzata, Hungary
- Centrum Komunitného Organizovania, Slovakia
- Wszystko dla Gdańska, Poland
Exchange of experience partners:
- ALDA, France
- Drustvo za razvijanje prostovolnjega dela Novo Mesto, Slovenia
- Comune di Reggio Emilia, Italy
- Santa Lucia Local Council, Malta
- Landsradet for sveriges ungdomsorganisationer, Sweden
- Comune di Penne, Italy
- Vasteras Kommun, Sweden
- Den Gode by IVS, Denmark
> [16/04/2019] EU elections get closer and the Cross-Over project is on the road!
> [18/02/2019] Improving knowledge of the EU and exchanging practices to motivate young voters
> [31/01/2019] CROSS OVER first international event: “What is the European Union?”
> [16/01/2019] Volunteer opportunity in Vicenza and across the EU – CROSS OVER project
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