The real impact of the cohesion policy in the European citizenship
The workshop about the real impact of cohesion policy on European citizenship focused on the lack of connection between the real role of cohesion policy and the European citizens who are 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 of the lack of connection between the European project and the citizenship, it is the solution to this situation. He pointed out three important elements that can contribute to this solution: solidarity among the citizens; the importance of cohesion in the European construction; and the value of the democracy at the current moment.
In her presentation, Anna Lisa Boni highlighted the need for “simplification” to be the key element that can help to reinforce the relationship between the European citizens and the management of the EU funds and the impact on 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 democracy and the need to improve it.
In the debate the speakers were asked 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 underlined the need of having background information before participation in these debates. Following on from this the speakers pointed out the need for “listening people” to centre the debate on the main topics of citizenship.
Take away message
1.- Simplification in the management of EU funds will contribute to bring the EU project closer to the European citizens.
2.- Europe is not the cause of the citizens problems, but, also, European 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 citizens