Activities

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A  selection of our most important projects:

PROJECT TITLE Building Bridges of Democracy 2 – Danubiana project
PROJECT PERIOD 2013-2015
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS The EU Danube Region Strategy (EUDRS) adopted in 2011 is a new EU policy field. Civil society involvement in its implementation is strongly encouraged.

The previous, first phase of the “Building Bridges of Democracy” project with the support of EACEA contributed to the elaboration of the EUDRS and produced a civil Danube strategy with concrete proposals for follow-up actions.

As the EUDRS has entered into a pilot phase of implementation in the 14 states of the Danube region, the objective of the current, 2nd phase of the “Building Bridges of Democracy” project is to contribute by means of civil society organisations from 9 countries to the successful implementation of the EUDRS.

During the project a number of programmes were organised to increase the visibility and public understanding of the EUDRS: kick-off event in Budapest, annual meeting of the Danubiana CSO network in Vienna, street action in Bratislava and final evaluation session in Brussels.

Other programme elements included a 9-country monitoring of implementation of the EUDRS on national level, a 2-week volunteer exchange programme, the holding of Danube classes in schools (1 per country) with the use of an educational kit and a research work on Danube identity vis-à-vis European identity. The project seeks to compare experience of the EUDRS and the Baltic Sea Strategy through a study trip to Sweden.

SUPPORTED BY Europe for Citizens Programme

 

PROJECT TITLE Civil Trust Building – Find your way through the Enlargement Labyrinth
PROJECT PERIOD 2012-2013
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS The point of departure of our project is that EU citizens should be familiar, properly informed about the actual situation of the candidate and potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans region, about the perspective of future EU enlargement. Civil society organisations on both sides of the fence can play an important role in this process by – among others – promoting public debates, carrying out information and awareness-raising campaigns to this effect. We are convinced that countries of the Western Balkans has a pontetial to join mainstream European processes and contribute on a partnership basis to the shaping of Europe of the future. We, the European House (project leader) together with our CSO partners from the region from 5 other EU member states are all committed to the notion of EU enlargement.

The project objectives were to

– provide factual, up-to-date information to the larger public of the 6 project participating countries on the enlargement process and candidate and potential candidate countries in the Western Balkans showing their contemporary reality;

– “bridge-building” between the citizens of EU Member States and the candidate and potential candidate countries in the Western Balkans with the aim to promote tolerance, mutual understanding and trust;

–  raise public awareness and understanding about the importance of the European venture in general and the significance and impact of the enlargement process in particular through stimulating informal public debates and activities;

– foster European identity in the region of the participating countries through cross-border actions.

Main activities project activities included:

Volunteer Exchange Programme

„Civil Trust-building” bus tour visiting 5 participating countries with the Enlargement Labyrinth

SUPPORTED BY DG Enlargement

 

PROJECT TITLE Hungarian National flagship project of the EYV2011
PROJECT PERIOD 2011-2012
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS European House was the national coordinator of the Hungarian flagship project of the European Year of Volunteering in 2011.
SUPPORTED BY DG COMM

 

PROJECT TITLE EU Civis: Civil Europe – Civil Hungary – Civil Austria – Civil Romania
PROJECT PERIOD 2007-2008
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS Main direct results of the project were the following:

  • bridge-building: reduced distance, increased dialogue and better understanding of European values between citizens of “new” and “old” member states
  • better understanding of the civil society organisations in the project countries by European, national, regional and local public institutions
  • stronger self-consciousness of the civil sector in the participating countries
  • increased public awareness on EU-related issues and active European citizenship in Austria, Hungary and Romania and the involvement of NGOs in this process
  • citizens’ ownership feeling and attitude towards the European project is strengthened thereby an important civil society contribution is made towards the bridging the gap between citizens and Europe;
  • increased co-operation between citizens in the participating countries
  • better knowledge of the citizens of their rights, responsibilities and possibilities as European citizens
  • increased knowledge of NGOs and their role in the European setting and a better understanding of interaction within an EU context
  • active contribution of citizens of the project countries to the debate on the future of Europe and the role of NGOs in this process
  • increased involvement of NGOs in EU-wide programmes
Supported by Europe for Citizens Programme

 

PROJECT TITLE Train yourself! – enyjoy learning over 45
PROJECT PERIOD 2007-2008
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS The general objective of the project was to promote the strategy of the European Union and the Hungarian government in the field of lifelong learning and active citizenship.

 

Main objectives were to:

  • disseminate information about lifelong learning
  • promoting the idea of continuous training for people over 45
  • facilitate the extra curricula education opportunities
  • organising 7 regional trainings in Hungary
  • publishing a handbook on best practices
  • promoting the idea of active European citizenship in Hungary
Supported by National Employment Fund of Hungary

European House

 

PROJECT TITLE The European Parliament Minute by Minute – a Hungarian Transparency Initiative
PROJECT PERIOD 2007-2008
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS Main direct results of the project were the following:

  • 9 transparency study visits to the European Parliament, following the work of the relevant EP-committees
  • 8 information sessions in Budapest on the results and main experiences of the study visits with the involvement of MEPs, MPs and Hungarian and Swedish experts
  • 9 written reports on the study visits to Brussels available in English and Hungarian, published on the project web-page
  • 2 transparency study visits: visit of a Hungarian NGO group to Sweden (4-9 March, 2007) and a Swedish NGO delegation to Hungary (18-22 November 2007)
  • interactive web-site on the project and its results: http://www.eucivil.hu/transparency
  • reaching an important number of beneficiaries directly (information events, launch conference, etc.) and indirectly (web-page, Civil Europe e-newsletter, written reports, etc.): cca. 5000
  • news and publicity of the project results published regularly in Civil Europe e-newsletter sent to more than 7.400 e-mail addresses (mainly Hungarian CSOs)
  • concluding publication in Hungarian and English (44 pages, 1.000 copies)
  • an informal network of Hungarian NGOs interested in transparency issues
  • increased co-operation and existing partnerships among Hungarian and Swedish NGOs
  • relevant information material distributed during the project events: the 2006 report on public access to EP-documents, EESC opinions on transparency issues, the European Commission’s Green Paper on Public Access to Documents Held by Institutions of the European Community, project reports, information on public access to the work of the Hungarian National Assembly, possibilities of consultation at the European and national level, the Swedish practice of transparency and openness, the Swedish Secrecy Legislation, the situation of NGOs in the partner countries, etc.

 

SUPPORTED BY DG JLS

 

PROJECT TITLE “Making Europe Work: Active Citizens in an Enlarged Europe – A Plan D for Hungarian NGOs”
PROJECT PERIOD 2006-2007
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS The results of the “Making Europe Work: Active Citizens in an Enlarged Europe – A Plan D for Hungarian NGOs” project can be summarised in the following points:

  • general public with special attention to civil society organisations and to young people in Hungary received in various forms first-hand and up-to-date information on EU-matters with particular emphasis on the Constitutional Treaty and its relevance to citizens;
  • the above process contributed to awarness-raising of civil society organisations operating on various levels and through them the general public on the importance of the notion „Active European Citizen”;
  • Hungarian public in general and the civil sector, young people in particular where informed about the possibilities of their rights and responsibilities as European citizens
  • the project successfully communicated Europe and the commonly shared values of the European Union to ordinary citizens;
  • Hungarian citizens contributed actively to the debate on the future of Europe
  • dialogue has been conducted with the citizens on various EU matters related to their daily life thereby counterbalancing the existing “democratic deficit” and creating an ownership feeling;
  • better co-operation of Hungarian NGOs with Hungarian members of the European Parliament and with representatives in the European Economic and Social Committee
  • the professional knowledge and commitment of a significant number of civil society representatives has been enhanced on various EU matters;
  • the notion of participatory democracy has been strengthened;
  • new possibilities have been opened up for Hungarian CSOs to join and take part in activities of various Europe-wide civil society networks;
  • the strength and independence of Hungarian civil society has been increased and the need for an intra-sectoral (civil) dialogue and action in Hungary gradually recognised.
SUPPORTED BY Europe for Citizens Programme

National Civil Fund of Hungary

Generation Europe Hungary Foundation

 

PROJECT TITLE Our Europe – Our Debate – Our Contribution

A 5-country regional initiative

PROJECT PERIOD 2006-2007
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS The “Our Europe – Our Debate – Our Contribution” project was a 5-country regional initiative to answer the challenges Europe face today, foster a direct debate on the future of Europe, to raise awareness and demonstrate public commitment to the notion of building a new Europe for the citizens and to give an opportunity to encourage interaction between citizens from different countries in the process of shaping the renewed EU.

 

ON COMMUNICATING WITH CITIZENS

  • Reaching out to citizens and having dialogue with them is only possible if issues raised are of direct concern to their daily life.
  • EU institutions should make efforts to engage in direct dialogue with citizens and not only provide information; dialogue is a two-way street!
  • Direct dialogue with the citizens is a must; EU leaders should meet them not only under “artificial” circumstances e.g. during conferences especially in Brussels, but visiting and meeting them in their national environment, at home.
  • Citizens have more trust in the EU institutions then in their national ones (but they have more information on the latter).
  • EU policies and actions should be much more focused on young people; they are open minded and mobile.
  • The current “sterile” language of the official EU publications should be radically changed and improved.
  • There is a pressing need for an all-European media (especially a Europe TV) based on and advertising the commonly shared values.

ON ACTIVE EUROPEAN CITIZENSHIP

  • The notion of active European citizenship is seen as a very abstract term.
  • Active European citizenship is not an end in itself but an effective instrument to promote participatory democracy. Active European citizenship is closely linked to and based on active citizenship on national level;
  • European citizenship should be an open, inclusive notion available also for non-EU nationals residing legally or illegally on the territory of the EU member states.
  • Civil society organisations play a crucial role in promoting the idea and practicing active European citizenship.
  • Through concrete, tailor-made (country/region-specific) actions the ownership-feeling of citizens on European issues can be strengthened.
  • It is recommended that active European citizenship for part of the school curriculum in the EU member states.
SUPPORTED BY DG COMM

National Civil Fund of Hungary

Hungarian Economic and Social Council

 

PROJECT TITLE Open Doors – Hungarian civil society organisations in Brussels
PROJECT PERIOD 2006-2007
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS Every year European institutions open their doors to facilitate and foster dialogue various EU bodies and the general public. “The Open Doors – Hungarian civil society organisations in Brussels project” aimed to give possibility to civil society organisations to present their activities, achievements and challenges they face to the EU institutions and the public in general. Activities included running a Hungarian stand in the building of the European Economic and Social Committee and organising a seminar on current tendencies of the nonprofit sector in the Central European region.

 

Objectives of the project were to:

 

  • present the current situation, achievements of and challenges the Hungarian civil society face to the EU institutions;
  • promote the cooperation between Hungarian civil society organisations and European networks;
  • strengthen the sector consciousness of Hungarian civil organisations;
  • promote the dialogue between EU institutions and Hungarian civil society organisations.
  • facilitate the cooperation among Hungarian civil society organisations.
Supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary