Corvinesti Castle, Hunedoara, Romania
Applying for project under the Europe for Citizens Program, Civil Society Projects 2017 Call
UEF will submit an application to organise a project under the Civil Society Projects 2017 Call of the EU's Europe for Citizens Program, which runs between 2014-2020. The aim of the project will be to bring together experts from former Eastern Block Member States (as well as other relevant experts) in order to produce a curriculum which address misconceptions about each such Member State, as well as Cold War era propaganda generally. The project will take the form of a series of working groups meeting across the EU which will produce this curriculum, with the final working group producing a dissemination plan and strategy.
UEF is a firm believe that many of the issues facing the EU today, at least as far as the integration of former Eastern Block Member States is concerned, can be addressed through various types of education based initiatives. This extends both to initiatives focused on western misconceptions about Eastern European Member States and to initiatives aimed at helping the States to better absorb best practices from older EU Member States with regards to governance, the judiciary and other topics.
To this end, FUTURE EUROPE is a projects which will have several sub projects. The rationale which underpins FUTURE EUROPE, is that Europe's future will be brighter with a more dynamic Eastern Europe, which is treated on equal footing within the EU. The first sub-project is focused on boosting the number of Eastern Europeans working in the European Institutions. This is not something which UEF (or indeed any NGO or individual government) can simply achieve on their own. Who works in European institutions is a result of a multitude of factors, chief among them arguably being qualifications and experience. That being the case, the aim of the first FUTURE EUROPE sub-project will be to promote increased attendance on the part of Eastern European students at the two institutions which are arguably most relevant to boosting the number of Eastern European professionals at the European Institutions.The two institutions in question are of course the College of Europe and the European University Institute. UEF notes that these institutions distinguish themselves with their focus on EU related subjects and indeed, the College of Europe in particular is strongly associated with subsequent progression into the European Institutions. UEF also notes that while by and large Western European Member States make scholarships available for study at the CoE and are signatories of the EUI convention, this is not the case for Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. In fact, the CoE clearly perceives the problem to be serious enough to break with tradition and start offering partial scholarships for candidates from CEE countries . In terms of the EUI, it is still the case that Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia have still not signed the EUI Convention.
It is UEF's belief that improving attendance rates at these institutions will have a beneficial impact on increasing the number of EE and/or CEE nationals involved with the European Institutions, which we firmly believe will be beneficial both for the states concerned and for Europe as a whole. To that end, the first FUTURE EUROPE sub-project will focus on lobbying the governments of each CEE/EE Member State which does not currently make the necessary provisions to aid its citizens in this regard. This will take the form of direct lobbying, campaigning and research output. At the same time, UEF will also campaign for the European Commission to set up a temporary fund with the aim of addressing this issue until the relevant Member States are able and willing to address it.
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