European Week of Regions and Cities
8-11 October 2018 Brussels

The real impact of the cohesion policy in the European citizenship

October 9, 2018 from 09:30 to 11:00
Cohesion Policy (CP) has become the European Union's main instrument for investment; despite its contribution to the balanced development of the territory, there is a gap between this success and the awareness of the impact that the CP has in the daily life of European citizens. This binomial, CP and citizenship, is key to the future of the Union. This session will connect these two topics through presentations from different perspectives, not only focusing on geographical issues (cities and regions), but also addressing political and social positions.
Anna Lisa Boni, Jonás Fernández, Federico Guerrieri, Enrique Rodríguez, Joachim Ott, Guillermo Martínez
Social inclusion, citizenship, migration
Gijon City Council
english (en), español (es)
Building SQUARE - Brussels Convention Centre, Room Hall 300

Session summary

The workshop about the real impact of the cohesion policy on the European citizenship focused on the lack of connection between the real role of the cohesion policy and the European citizenship that is not fully aware of its importance in their daily lives. The workshop was organized by the City of Gijón and moderated by Federico Guerrieri coordinator of the campaign Cities4Europe.  Europe for citizens.  The EUROCITIES Secretary General, Anna Lisa Boni and the Head of Citizens’ Dialogues Unit, Joachim Ott, were the main speakers.     

Joachim Ott underlined that Europe is not the cause that produces the lack of connection between the European project and the citizenship, is the solution to this situation. He pointed out three important elements that can contribute to produce this solution: the solidarity among the citizens; the importance of the cohesion in the Europe construction; and the value of the Democracy in the current moment.

In her presentation, Anna Lisa Boni highlighted the need of the “simplification” as key element that can help to reinforce in the relationship between the European citizenship and the management of the EU funds and this impact of the daily lives. Also, she underlined the need to work with the level closest to the citizens, the cities.  Supporting the ideas of Joachim Ott she emphasized the role of the democracy and the need to improve it.    

In the debate many attendees asked to the speakers about different issues: communications; social cohesion; European dialogues; role of the cities; strategies; etc. The importance of the Citizens’ Dialogues was valued by many people but the attendees and speakers underline the need of having previous information before the participation in these debates.   In this line the speakers pointed out the need of “listening people” to center the debate on the main topics for the citizenship.  

Take away message

1.- The simplification in the management of EU funds will contribute to close the EU project with the European citizenship.

2.- Europe is not the cause of the citizens problems, but also the Europe citizens will find the solutions in Europe.

3.- The Citizens’ Dialogue are a way to generate a real debate with citizen participation around European issues.

4.- The co-creation of publics policies will produce the empowerment of the European citizenship


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