Nowadays municipalities are facing new challenges, i.e. social integration of migrants, demographic and structural changes. Active engagement and participation of the citizens can be a solution to deal with these challenges. However, most of the active citizens do not have the skills and competences to shape and participate in political and social life.
It is therefore essential to support active citizenship. Training courses on active citizenship already exist, but they mainly target politicians and representatives of the public administration, and focus on the development of personal skills. Thus, there is a lack of training courses for active citizens to help them developing and implementing participatory projects, and in this way to give them the opportunity to be change agents in their community.
Lebensqualität durch Nähe tackles this situation by developing a comprehensive qualification and training programme developed and implemented with citizens in order to encourage them to jointly shape their local community through participatory projects.
LQN specific objectives are the following:
to train and to empower citizens, local facilitators and local political representatives to play an active role in their municipality by recognizing societal challenges and working on solutions through the implementation of concrete projects
to train project guidance to local facilitators and local political representatives
to recognize and validate the competences and skills gained through civic engagement
LQN overall objective is to contribute to a positive social development in the targeted municipalities, more cooperation between municipalities and a quicker resolution of local challenges.
The project objectives will be reach 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. The LQN process focuses on best practice models and know-how transfer. The projects implemented by the citizens will focus on the 9 following topics: nature & health, living spaces, work, culture & leisure, primary care, mobility, education and community life.
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 recognise their skills in civic engagement
a guide on the implementation of the LQN-process in 10 model municipalities in Austria, Germany and Italy
Thus, the outcomes will be the following:
the training of citizens and local political representatives in 10 municipalities
the implementation of local projects by citizens in 10 municipalities
3 multiplier events, whose 1 in Germany and 1 in Belgium
After the evaluation of the outcomes, the consortium plans to transfer and multiply the highly valuable LQN process to municipalities and adult education institutions within their networks and throughout Europe.
The partnership is formed by EAEA and five adult education centers with a wide expertise on implementing active citizenship in municipalities.
Coordinator: SPES GmbH, Austria
SPES e.V., Germany
K-Punkt Ländliche Entwicklung im Kloster Heiligkreuztal, Germany
European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), Belgium
Second partner meeting – March 2017, Goldrain, Italy