The project "Citizen Participation for EUROPE - Actively Shaping the European Election and the Future of Europe" was funded with the support of the European Union within the framework of the programme "Europe for Citizens". The association Recht in Europa e.V. concluded the project in October 2019 with an event in September 2019 and the final work. You can access the summary of all events and the resulting impulse paper under 'Downloads'.
1. the first International Conference in October 2018 will be held in Mechelen. As there are local elections in Belgium in October '18, this event will be held in a climate of self-efficacy. It will be accompanied by events on the radio and in the streets (surveys). Workshops will be held in each partner city, the content of which will feed into this conference.
2) Athens (the cradle of democracy) is particularly associated with Euroscepticism, due to the cuts it has made in the lives of its citizens. Therefore, the second International Conference will be held there in May '19 at the Cultural Centre. This conference will also be prepared with workshops in all partner cities.
The 3rd International Conference will also take place in Pleven directly before the European Parliament elections in 2019. In this East-European twin town, the recent experiences with civic and electoral participation will be particularly addressed. With its accompanying events (radio campaign, interviews and actions on the streets) WAHL will contribute to the formation of a European identity with respect as well as cultural and linguistic diversity.
4. the fourth International Conference will be held in Jena in September '19 (International Democracy Day). Jena is one of 40 cities in Germany to take a pioneering role and establish guidelines for citizen participation. Workshops in the partner cities help prepare the conference. The conference will be accompanied by radio and street activities and will adopt an impulse paper for possibilities of citizen participation. This will be disseminated via the networks of all partners in Europe and will provide suggestions for a "Europe for and with citizens".
In Mechelen/Bonheiden, Athens, Pleven and Jena, public meeting places (such as the Ratsdiele Jena), the streets (for interviews and surveys) as well as information and exchange via radio will contribute to the implementation of WAHL.
With WAHL the decision-making processes on municipal, national and European level are put up for discussion. Knowledge about decision-making at EU level and about different forms of civic participation will be improved. Citizen participation is a key factor for the sustainability of Europe. The free democratic basic order and the values that make up Europe are currently at stake due to nationalistic tendencies and populism as well as emerging anti-Semitic slogans up to hopeful racism.
This makes it all the more important for citizens to be actively involved in shaping democracy. The development and formation of national and European identity are goals of WAHL. With the four international conferences in Mechelen, Pleven, Athens and Jena, WAHL takes on both a transnational and local dimension. These conferences will be accompanied by street activities, citizen surveys, involvement of online activities and radio campaigns. In this way, non-voters and Eurosceptics are particularly addressed.
The international conferences represent an intercultural dialogue. They bring cultural and linguistic diversity to life and contribute to tolerance, understanding and European identity. They are dedicated to topics that are particularly topical in each twin city - with a focus on local elections on the one hand and the upcoming European elections on the other. The International Conferences will provide opportunities for all citizens to express themselves, their ideas and wishes. The debates will motivate citizens to assume their responsibilities through civic and electoral participation.
In totalitarian regimes, freedom and citizen participation had no value. This makes the exchange at the events in Eastern Europe all the more important. WAHL will achieve a sense of belonging to the EU in its activities.
More information about the project, detailed project descriptions or download documents can be found on the"We Will Vote" project page.