Challenge for Europe

The European Union’s so-called Community Initiatives were launched about 15 years ago in order to encourage the participation of local actors in cooperation and the exchange of experiences on a European level. LEADER, URBAN, EQUAL and other acronyms stood for a bottom-up approach to local planning and the participation of civil society in political decision-making. By “mainstreaming” these initiatives in conventional structural programmes, the European Union has withdrawn from these very successful programmes. They should be renewed.

To read the full article, click here

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Post written by Hannes Lorenzen, Forum Synergies, PREPARE and CURE network activist

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Comments

  1. I full agree with initiative made by “Challenge for Europe”. I personally have been enjoying about the real progress on the ground while managing many international “bottom up” projects financed by EU. I also agree that real effect can best be achieved through participatory planning methods and commitment of local stakeholders is the key element for successful project implementation. As side effect I don’t expect only EU citizens feel EU closer but also that people outside member-states could see EU as practical partner instead of colonialist administrator or mastermind.

    For me the topic is so interesting that I just wrote a wider article about it in my own BalkanBlog so one may read more in http://arirusila.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/eus-community-initiatives-would-bring-europe-closer-to-its-people/

  2. Congratulations! Your advocacy for these (past?) programmes is very convincing. Would you have any references of / links to concrete examples that could support and illustrate the very positive effects that you report? It would reinforce your claims, and make your article even stronger.

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