Nowadays municipalities are facing new challenges, such as social integration of migrants, demographic and structural changes. Through the project Lebensqualität durch Nähe (LQN, Quality of life through proximity), citizens will be trained and empowered to play an active role in their municipalities and tackle local challenges through the implementation of participatory projects.
The LQN project kicked-off successfully with a first consortium meeting in Schlierbach (Austria) on the 7 and 8 November. This three-year KA2 Erasmus+ project will develop a comprehensive qualification and training programme for citizens, local political representatives and facilitators in the field of civic engagement at the local level.
The LQN project's overall objectives are the empowerment of citizens in municipalities, the acquisition of skills in project guidance for local political representatives and the validation of skills in civic engagement. These objectives will be reached through the LQN process: trained local facilitators will teach local political representatives how to guide citizens in implementing their own participatory projects, and then citizens will carry out these projects in their municipalities. This process will be implemented in 10 municipalities in Austria, Germany and Italy.
The project foresees the following outputs: a consistent design of training courses and curricula for local facilitators, citizens and local political representatives; a Competence-check tool for citizens to recognize their skills in civic engagement and a guide on the implementation of the LQN-process in the 10 model municipalities.
EAEA is one of the six partners and its role is to disseminate the project results to a wide European audience via its networks. Additionally, EAEA will work on the development of the Competence-check tool. At the end of the project, EAEA will also organise a multiplier event in Brussels where the project results will be presented and where a networking event on civic engagement and rural development will be organised.
Text: Clémence Garnier
Photo: The LQN project