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With the European Parliament elections expected in June 2024, EU citizens will have to take action and express their ideas about the future of Europe.
On June 2023, the Spring Eurobarometer revealed citizens’ growing awareness of the upcoming European elections: 56% showed interest in the next European elections, six percentage points higher than one year before the last European elections. Moreover, 67% said they were likely to vote, while 58% said so in 2018.
The European Commission promotes various projects to stimulate active citizenship in the long term, especially at the European level.
Undoubtedly, the Erasmus Plus programme has been one of the main drivers of building European identity among its citizens.
Thanks to the international mobilities and exchanges of students, youth, university and school education staff and more, the Erasmus Plus generations have started feeling like Europeans.
It is not a case that in the last Erasmus Plus call for proposal, among the priorities of the cooperation projects, there were “organising events as a lead-up to the 2024 elections to the European Parliament” and “activities raising awareness about and promoting participation in the 2024 elections to the European Parliament”.
Even if Erasmus Plus is the most known financial programme showing the European Union’s action to promote a more profound sense of European citizenship, other programmes also aim at the same scope. An example is the programme Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme (previous Europe for citizens). It aims to sustain and develop an empowered civil society, encouraging people’s democratic, civic and social participation and cultivating the rich diversity of European society based on our shared values, history and memory.
Two out of the four strands are “Citizens’ engagement and participation” (promoting citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union, exchanges between citizens of different Member States, and raising awareness of the common European history) and “Union values” (protect and promote Union values).
Such projects promote exchanges in civil society, promoting the participation of associations, civil society, Public Institutions and local authorities (cities and municipalities too).
These programmes are crucial in turning the European Union’s vision of active European citizenship into reality. In addition to these projects, the European Union is launching various campaigns to create interest towards European elections.
For example, the European Parliament opened the platform Together.eu (https://together.europarl.europa.eu/), a community connecting people from across Europe to meet, share knowledge and learn new skills, encouraging others to vote in 2024. There, you can find events, testimonials, training and resources to be informed and prepared in view of the 2024 EP elections.
Written by: Cristina Ceccarelli