A year full of activities contributing to promote active European citizenship is turning to an end. Several key initiatives have marked this 2015 and strengthened the strategic partnership between ALDA and the Europe for Citizens programme. We are proud to look back at these moments to realise fully the value of our work and kick-off 2016 with even stronger motivation.

More than 30 good practices promoting citizen participation at the local level have been collected in the framework of the project DECIDE – DEmocratic Compact: Improving Democracy in Europeand as many as 14 local communities across Europe have benefited of this tool by adopting and testing new practices to strengthen the local democratic systems in their territories. The success of the action led us to further invest in this process also in 2016, beyond the funding framework of the Europe for Citizens programme. The Democratic Compact will be fed with additional good practices and will be a permanent toolkit at the disposal of local authorities and civil society associations willing to further include citizens in the decision making processes at local level.

In the context of the European Year for Development, environment has been a key priority of our actions in 2015. We are particularly proud of the “environmental sentinels” mechanisms’ success officially launched in 2013 in the framework of the project COHEIRS. Informing and training ordinary citizens to become civic observers for the environment has shown to be a winning methodology to tackle environmental violations and promote citizen participation. The project COHEIRS has generated a process that has been sustainable on its own throughout 2015. The success story of the “environmental sentinels” in Campania region, Italy, has certainly been the highest moment this year. The signing of the partnership agreement between the representative of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the region and ordinary citizens in their role of civic observers for the environment has been a key example of the effectiveness of the cooperation between authorities and citizens for the wellbeing of their community.

Le projet WE-NET, launched in July 2015, is an additional initiative supported by the Europe for Citizens programme that focuses on the role of local authorities and citizens to promote environmental protection and sustainable development.The international seminar in Thiene, in November, was an occasion to bring together partners from 8 different countries across Europe to exchange knowledge, experience and good practice on the topic of recycling. The emphasis in 2016 will be put on young people because they are the future of Europe and must make the difference for a better and more sustainable world. Young citizens will contribute as protagonists to the discussions on environment and sustainable development.

ALDA’s Active Citizenship funding programme supporting grass-roots level initiatives in Europe has been a pillar of our action in 2015. Out of more than 25 applications, seven organisations from Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Estonia, Germany and Czech Republic have benefited of a total budget of 20 000 Euros to launch activities promoting citizens’ reflections and debates on key topics of the European agenda such as COP21, radicalization, the migration crisis, the European Citizen Initiative revision and many more.

As a key stakeholder in the structured dialogue with the DG Home Affairs, ALDA is proud, with concrete actions, to contribute to reaching the objectives of the Europe for Citizens programme and to promote its development. The programme represents a key instrument to tackle new forms of populism and radicalisation, bring citizens closer to Europe and revive the European project. The challenges ahead in 2016 are bigger than ever and ALDA will be at the forefront of actions aimed at reinforcing the programme and promote its objectives.

A year full of activities contributing to promote active European citizenship is turning to an end. Several key initiatives have marked this 2015 and strengthened the strategic partnership between ALDA and the Europe for Citizens programme. We are proud to look back at these moments to realise fully the value of our work and kick-off 2016 with even stronger motivation.

More than 30 good practices promoting citizen participation at the local level have been collected in the framework of the project DECIDE – DEmocratic Compact: Improving Democracy in Europeand as many as 14 local communities across Europe have benefited of this tool by adopting and testing new practices to strengthen the local democratic systems in their territories. The success of the action led us to further invest in this process also in 2016, beyond the funding framework of the Europe for Citizens programme. The Democratic Compact will be fed with additional good practices and will be a permanent toolkit at the disposal of local authorities and civil society associations willing to further include citizens in the decision making processes at local level.

In the context of the European Year for Development, environment has been a key priority of our actions in 2015. We are particularly proud of the “environmental sentinels” mechanisms’ success officially launched in 2013 in the framework of the project COHEIRS. Informing and training ordinary citizens to become civic observers for the environment has shown to be a winning methodology to tackle environmental violations and promote citizen participation. The project COHEIRS has generated a process that has been sustainable on its own throughout 2015. The success story of the “environmental sentinels” in Campania region, Italy, has certainly been the highest moment this year. The signing of the partnership agreement between the representative of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the region and ordinary citizens in their role of civic observers for the environment has been a key example of the effectiveness of the cooperation between authorities and citizens for the wellbeing of their community.

Le projet WE-NET, launched in July 2015, is an additional initiative supported by the Europe for Citizens programme that focuses on the role of local authorities and citizens to promote environmental protection and sustainable development.The international seminar in Thiene, in November, was an occasion to bring together partners from 8 different countries across Europe to exchange knowledge, experience and good practice on the topic of recycling. The emphasis in 2016 will be put on young people because they are the future of Europe and must make the difference for a better and more sustainable world. Young citizens will contribute as protagonists to the discussions on environment and sustainable development.

ALDA’s Active Citizenship funding programme supporting grass-roots level initiatives in Europe has been a pillar of our action in 2015. Out of more than 25 applications, seven organisations from Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Estonia, Germany and Czech Republic have benefited of a total budget of 20 000 Euros to launch activities promoting citizens’ reflections and debates on key topics of the European agenda such as COP21, radicalization, the migration crisis, the European Citizen Initiative revision and many more.

As a key stakeholder in the structured dialogue with the DG Home Affairs, ALDA is proud, with concrete actions, to contribute to reaching the objectives of the Europe for Citizens programme and to promote its development. The programme represents a key instrument to tackle new forms of populism and radicalisation, bring citizens closer to Europe and revive the European project. The challenges ahead in 2016 are bigger than ever and ALDA will be at the forefront of actions aimed at reinforcing the programme and promote its objectives.