ECAS participated in the rapporteur’s consultations with civil society
On 17 October, MEP María Teresa Barbat, who is preparing the European Parliament’s position on the mid-term review of the Europe for Citizens programme, submitted a draft report on the programme. This draft report draws on the input provided by a number of stakeholders and civil society representatives who have experience with this programme. This included ECAS, who conducted a consultation among its members and partners from July to September 2016. Read the findings of this consultation here.
Increased funding, communication and internationalisation – key recommendations
In her report, the EP rapporteur puts forward the following recommendations:
- To significantly increase the financial allocation to this programme, which is the only one dedicated entirely to European citizenship. She proposes a total financial provision of EUR 300 million for this programme under the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), up from EUR 185 million in the present financial period;
- To revise the lump sum system in order to take into consideration the price differences across the EU;
- To maintain the operating grants schemes as a powerful instrument that supports the independence of beneficiaries and their ability to carry out vision-orientated activities.;
- To set up an a one-stop-shop online portal gathering all the useful information regarding the Europe for Citizens programme, along with all the programmes, actions and grants that come under the umbrella of “EU Citizenship”;
- To implement an engaging communications strategy on European citizenship and on the Europe for Citizens programme, in order to raise awareness about this programme and increase participation;
- To revise the ‘European Remembrance’ strand of the programme in order to build a European identity geared towards the future, rather than focus on Europe’s past, as is the case now;
- To maintain the multiannual approach in the definition of priorities and to enhance the synergies across its strands;
- To support the internationalisation of the programme by opening it up to the participation of new countries beyond the EU candidate countries, so as to include the EU neighbourhood countries;
- To revise the legal base of the programme to enable the fully-fledged participation of the European Parliament in its adoption and implementation process, on an equal footing with the Council
These recommendations are largely in line with ECAS’ suggestions, based on the findings of our consultation.
The draft report will be presented to the EP’s Committee on Education and Culture on 8 November, with a view to having a vote on it at Committee level on 23 January. The final report should be adopted by the Plenary in February 2017.
ECAS’ Director, Assya Kavrakova, and Membership and Outreach Manager, Marta Pont, were also invited to present the findings from its consultation by the Europe for Citizens Unit of the the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission (EACEA). The meeting took place on 13 October 2016 at EACEA’s premises and allowed ECAS to voice the opinion of the civil society organisations who participated in its consultation to the managers of this funding programme.