CSV in cooperation with Austrian organisation E.N.T.E.R. contributed to the European Year of Citizens 2013 with the YOURopa project looking at the various forms that active European citizenship takes. The international conference in London was part of this project emphasising volunteering, human rights, active engagement and learning skills as integral parts of active citizenship.
Oonagh Aitken, Director of Social Action, Volunteering, Policy & Fundraising at CSV, said: "The YOURopa Conference is an important European Year of Citizens event as it demonstrates that everyone has the right to be an active citizen and contribute to their community. For over half a century CSV has been committed to promoting opportunities in which every person can actively participate to build strong and inclusive communities."
During the discussions, Darren Hughes (Electoral Reform Society, UK) highlighted that national governments tend to take credit for the positive achievements of the EU and blame it for the matters that can be unpopular in their country. Therefore “we need to take measures that will also build feelings of belonging to the European Union among its citizens” said Mr Hughes.
Transnational projects play a vital role in bringing the European citizens closer to the European institutions and reinforce an exchange of knowledge and experience among the European organisations. Thirty good practice examples from across Europe supported by a range of EU programmes were presented during the conference. “Working on projects with partners from the other EU countries has broadened my horizons and definitely increased my feeling of being European” Barbara Coulson, participant at the conference, said.
To find out more about the YOURopa project and showcased good practice examples, please, visit http://www.youropa-project.eu/.