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 By “mainstreaming” these initiatives in conventional structural programmes, the European Union has withdrawn from these very successful programmes.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


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

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  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

  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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