Main objective of the project is to involve municipalities, organizations, private associations, stakeholders, experts and CSOs, NGOs, citizens and young people, in order to raise awareness on current topics linked to Euroscepticism intended as a principled opposition to the EU and European integration.
The general objectives are:
- To foster European citizenship and improve conditions for civic and democratic participation at EU level
- To encourage democratic participation of citizens at EU level
- To support concrete participation in the EU policy-making process
This project will give to the citizens an opportunity to express what kind of Europe they want and to outline their long-term vision for the future of European integration. The debates will be based on the concrete achievements of the European Union and on lessons learnt from history. The debates should as well reflect on current trends and enable participants to challenge Euroscepticism and to suggest possible actions that the European Union could undertake in order to:
- foster a sense of belonging to Europe;
- understand the benefits of the European Union;
- reinforce the EU’s social and political cohesion.
The debate on the future of Europe of this project should not be limited to those already supporting the idea of the European Union, but also reach out to citizens who reject or put in question the European Union and its achievements or remain indifferent. The ambitious aim is to try to channel criticism of the EU into a useful, constructive and positive driver for European integration in the long run and to help the EU to come closer to its citizen and to reflect on a new narrative for Europe, citizen-oriented, forward-looking and constructive, that would be more engaging for the younger generation in particular. This project will lead the debates about concrete ways to create a more democratic Union, so as to enable citizens to re-engage with the EU and develop a stronger sense of ownership of the European project.
Our EU open democratic societies depend on the ability of citizens to access a variety of verifiable information so that they can form a view on different political issues. In this way, citizens can participate in an informed way in public debates and express their will through free and fair political processes. These democratic processes are increasingly challenged by deliberate, large-scale, and systematic spreading of disinformation.
Euroscepticism has moved towards mainstream political and popular culture. Eurosceptic movement gain more traction on people with emotional and simplified rhetoric rather than the rational, complex and facts-based reasoning that we – civil society – tend to provide. Eurosceptic movement gain more public support, threatening the legitimacy and popularity of the European process of integration.
People with high levels of media literacy have a better understanding of the EU, adopt a position, make their own conclusions, discerns truth from fake news, not follow trends, and can have a better opinion and judgments on achievements of the EU and benefits. On the other hand, people with low levels of media literacy are vulnerable, affected, impressed, and have conflict facing Eurosceptic narratives.
To fight against these issues, EU Defence Network aims to find ways to promote good media literacy training practices. The main focus is the improvement of media literacy levels among young people through the development of a pool of media literacy experts working with youth in schools and in non-formal contexts.
Focusing on the detection and exposure of trending narratives, disinformation channels and disinformation techniques, the ambitious aim of this project is to try to channel criticism of the EU into positive driver for the European integration in the long run and to help the EU to come closer to its citizen and to increase their resilience.
EU Defence Network foresees the participation of 18 EU countries.
The project foresees five international events as follow :
- 1st Bruxelles (Belgium): Kick-off meeting
- 2nd Bucharest (Romania): International training course
- 3rd Budapest (Hungary): Strategies for Introducing Media literacy in the middle schools
- 4th Sevlievo/Sofia (Bulgaria): Open debates, conference, laboratories
- 5th Bruxelles (Belgium): Final Conference, presentation of results, twinning ceremony
Programme and action:
Europe for Citizens Programme, Networks of Towns
1 September 2019 - 31 March 2021
Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Sevlievo
Number of participants:
- Czech Republic
- Northern Macedonia