BUILDING ON THE SUCCESS and carrying forward the legacy of civil society forums in countries holding the EU Presidencies over the last ten years, the European Civic Forum joins forces with
the Citizen Participation Forum, the BlueLink Foundation and the European Citizen Action Service to organize a European conference “Citizenship – Participation –Policies: Building Europe from Grassroots up” on 29 and 30 May in Sofia.

Taking stock of the current state of democracy and civic space in Europe, this conference will spot positive examples of civic engagement and co-decision in policy making, placing civic participation in the broader context of European democracy with growing demands from citizens to have a real say in shaping their future in common? As democratic representation is facing
an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy and the gap between politics and citizens has been widening, in many cities, regions, countries, and often transnationally, new forms of engagement are emerging, outside the box of representative democracy. Civic actors and movements build power upon strong local or regional support, but their claims need to be addressed in a wider context, as we leave now in a multi-level governance system where policy-making responsibility is shared among a variety of actors at European, national and local levels.

How can the European Union better take into account its citiznes concerns and expectations? What place should civil society organisations have in changing the way citizens are involved in decision-making? What are the challenges and opportunities of co-deciding with citizens at local, national and European levels.

This event provides a unique space for civic actors to share and learn from different experiences, hear from a variety of stakeholders and envision ways forward towards a renewal of the European democracy along core values of equality, solidarity and inclusiveness.

The full programme is accessible here, you can follow the debates with our hashtag #EUCivicDays2018