A vast gap exists between the rights guaranteed by the EU and the exercise of these rights. Unclear laws, disempowerment or fear of reprisal can prevent people from knowing and enjoying their rights.
This reflection is shared not only by the European Civic Forum members, but also by many other European networks, such as European Alternatives. This is what led this network composed of activists, intellectuals, artists, etc. to implement the Citi-Rights project, together with the ECF and other organisations.
Together, we want to look at how, when and where people in the EU can individually and collectively protect and advance rights. We also want to see where they are limited from exercising their rights and how transnational collaboration can imagine and build a future where rights are actively protected. The project has several components: researching citizen rights in the EU, teaching about rights in schools and universities and drafting EU policy proposals and providing trainings for civil-society activists to improve their capacity to protect and extend rights.
These trainings, the CREATE I REACT programme seeks to build on the momentum of activists, artists, tech- developers and citizen movements across Europe to work collaboratively to build a strong voice for rights protection. As a partner organisation, the European Civic Forum will notably organise the ultimate stage of the programme, around Policy making and advocacy, scheduled on 17 and 18 February 2016 in Brussels.
Around workshops and open sessions, participants will have the opportunity to exchange and learn about effective advocacy towards European institutions, citizen lobbying, and the use of European level tools to influence policy for rights protection.
Full information can be found on the project’s official website.