Within the time frame of 18 months, the project examines whether and to what extent citizens of the three small EU member states feel that they have diminished influence as citizens of the European Union. Additionally it explores the way such views influence and affect their participation to the EU at practical level (i.e. electoral turnouts) and tries to identify ways to address the emerging fears and feelings and explore ways to empower the citizens of small EU member states.
In the first phase, the three partners conducted a country research based on a common questionnaire that has been produced and formulated in the very first meeting of the project (September 2015). The questionnaire has the goal to understand what citizens think about the European Union, to what extent are they interested in it and how much do they know about the mechanisms and the work of the European Union.
The results of the questionnaires have been used as starting point for round-table discussions in the single countries. The discussions have been conducted using the Active-Dialogue-Networks (ADN) methodology, which foresees the active participation of people from various backgrounds in a discussion moderated by a skilled facilitator. During the discussion, participants are encouraged to make suggestions on solutions and answers. At a later stage, they are invited to vote the observations listed, thus prioritizing the most relevant ones. This mechanism leads to the compilation of a set of priorities that are then resumed and tackled in a Country Policy Paper.
The Country Policy Papers have been presented in a public conference in Nicosia (Cyprus), in which representatives from organizations, civil society and private citizens have been asked to comment on the differences and similarities. The conclusions of the conference and the recommendations from the country Policy paper are then joined in the common document.
The Common Policy Paper includes recommendations in different areas that have been identified during the round-tables at national level, and also specific suggestions for institutions and EU representatives in the countries. This concrete output from the project activities is the base for the dissemination of the results among different stakeholders and institutions both at country level and also at European level. The goal is to inform key actors and provide possible solutions that can help enhance civic participation and engagement at country level, but can also be an integral part of a European-level debate in regards to the representation and influence of citizens in the Union.
Please download the policy paper below: