The closing of the European Year of Active Citizenship has just been officially celebrated in Vilnius. Nevertheless, the efforts of civil society in sensitising the European population about the importance of active engagement in society won´t finish with the end of 2013.
An example of this commitment is represented by the Intergenerational Learning for European Active Citizenship (ILEAC) project consortium. The first activities which will be carried out in the framework of this project are one-day seminars. They will be organised by partner countries, paying particular attention in involving over-65 adults and under-30 youngsters.
Each seminar consists of two parts: a general framework on the European functioning provided by experts and a discussion where small groups of elderly citizens will tell life stories and personal testimonies regarding the life in Europe before the beginning of the integration process.
The project consortium is a unique partnership, composed by active citizenship associations and AE providers from six different countries and is led by the Italian association Centre of Initiative for Europe (CIE).
The consortium consists of associations that are from EU funder countries (France and Italy) or entered in the first enlargement (Sweden); associations based in the pre-accession countries (Montenegro); and associations from countries that entered the European Union in the last enlargements (Slovenia and Bulgaria). Each partner will tailor the seminar according to their national situation and history.
The first ILEAC seminar took place on the 30th November in Turin. It was conceived as an informal learning occasion, where participants will be able to discuss about two key European themes: borders and mobility and fundamental rights. Each group based its debate on participants´ life experiences. Thanks to everyone´s contribution, in particular the elders´, participants reflected upon what being an EU citizen means today.
Following the seminars, each partner will organise a story contest. Youngsters are invited to draft "European stories" on the themes deepened in the seminars that will be then evaluated by the project partners. The best ones will be collected in a publication. The national contest winners will be invited at the final project conference, which will be focused on how non formal and informal adult education can contribute to boost democracy and stimulate the European citizens´ engagement in society.
Learn more by visiting the project website. The project is funded with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme.
The 2013 European Year of Citizens closing conference was held in Vilnius from 12 to 13 of December.
Text: Francesca Operti