Context & Main Aim
Europeans are more than ever aware of their status as citizens of the Union and the proportion of Europeans wanting to know more about their rights continues to increase. Four out of five Europeans cherish, in particular, the right to free movement that allows them to live, work, study and do business anywhere in the EU (December 2016 Eurobarometer).
The majority of Europeans feel better informed about these rights, though not necessarily all of them. Citizens need to be aware of their rights in order to benefit from them. While some rights are well known and implemented effectively, gaps and misunderstandings remain. Thus, further improving the understanding of EU rights, including the right to free movement and the conditions attached to it, is important for their effective day-to-day implementation.
Being a European citizen also means enjoying political rights. Every adult EU citizen has the right to vote in European Parliament elections. Mobile EU citizens have the right to vote in their country of residence, or in their country of origin. This right is not exercised as fully as it could be. A lack of awareness means EU citizens do not fully exercise their right to vote in European and local elections and many are unaware of their right to consular protection from other Member States’ embassies.
The IMPEU Project Main Aim
The aim of the project Improving Inclusion of EU Mobile Citizens (IMPEU) is to foster political participation of EU mobile citizens and enhance capacity and knowledge of civil servants and relevant national, regional and local experts on EU citizenship and related political rights.
The first phase of the project will focus on the research into best practices on political inclusion policies across the European Union. The project partners will identify obstacles faced by EU mobile citizens when claiming their EU citizenship rights. Finally, they will also analyse civil servants’ training needs related to political participation of EU mobile citizens. This will be done through desk research, online surveys, citizens’ dialogues and roundtables gathering representatives of policy-makers.
Based on that, in the second phase, a needs-based training course will be developed for civil servants and relevant national, regional and local experts. The course will be available on an online training platform, while additional material will be also developed for the trainers to administer and facilitate the delivery of the program. Relevant and tailored information on EU citizenship will be also available for citizens, public officials, civil servants and experts through provision of online information toolkits and establishment of Info Kiosks.