Active Senior Citizens for Europe

Although older citizens usually have a positive attitude toward the EU, few are fully aware of what the EU is doing to translate our shared values into concrete outcomes for EU citizens, what are EU competences and how EU policies impact their daily life. Even fewer know how to engage in a constructive dialogue with the EU institutions to help shape the EU political agenda. The current crisis and language barriers create additional challenges for seniors in those countries to become fully involved in EU civil dialogue. As a contribution to EY2013, we will equip groups of seniors with necessary tools and training to disseminate relevant information about the EU to wider groups of seniors in their country and help them develop a stronger sense of belonging to the EU. Part of the activities will focus on the EP elections and how senior citizens can influence parties’ priorities based on their concerns.

Description of the project
Started on 1 September 2013, the project aims to support civil society organizations and older citizens to participate in and influence the EU political agenda and guide them to become key actors in decision-making at local, national and EU levels. More precisely, the project builds on the following 2 general objectives:
  • to give the opportunity to older citizens in 8 MS to learn more about the EU and to interact with EU policy makers in order to achieve an more age-friendly EU
  • to foster a greater sense of ownership of the EU among older citizens
The project will develop training material (based on the brochure “Active Citizens for Europe: A guide to the EU” that provide an overview of EU action relevant for older citizens and will organise series of meetings at EU and national levels to share this knowledge and foster discussions on EU policies and initiatives between civil society organisations coming from different EU MS. It will enable wider groups of seniors to develop a greater sense of ownership to the EU and get involved in the preparation of the upcoming European Parliament elections.

To do so, 2 EU training workshops will be organised by AGE:
  • 1st training about the EU, its competences, functioning, actions, the rights conferred to EU citizens and an overview of EU policies which impact older people daily lives and understand the links with national legislations. Part of the workshop will be dedicated to the upcoming EP elections to help partners get involved in the campaign as well as to establish contacts with the candidate MEPs and draw their attention on issues of concern for older senior citizens.
  • 2nd training about the EP elections’ results, the new balance of powers and the MEPs who have been elected. This will help them define the contacts that they established during the campaign which are relevant and should be pursued. This will be followed by a training on the new EU funding programmes.

Each EU workshop will be followed by national workshops organised by the national partners to spread the knowledge gained and mobilise wider groups of grass roots seniors.

The project will end in December 2014. A final conference on the outcomes of the project will be organised in Brussels.

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The ASCE project is coordinated by AGE Platform Europe.
ASCE project partners are: ENEA (Italy); MZU (Slovenia); ENEO (Belgium); Forum pre pomoc starsim – narodna siet (Slovakia); Envelhecer com Prazer (Portugal); 50plus Hellas (Greece); Age and Opportunity (Ireland); Active Retirement Network Ireland; Bulgarian Red Cross (Bulgaria); Tulip Foundation (Bulgaria).

The project is financed by the European Commission, Europe for Citizens Programme