In the times of Euroscepticism, there is a need for improved spaces for political debates linking policy-makers and citizens, rebuilding trust and creating new ‘bottom up’ based modes of collaboration.
The project “European solutions lab” (EU-LAB) was developed by a consortium linked to the organizers of democracy festivals across Baltic States and Belgium was aiming at facilitating the engagement of citizens from partner countries into the local, national and European policy-making processes. Local and international participatory workshops during the national/regional democracy festivals discussing issues relevant to the future of Europe was being organized. As it was planned the interactive face-to-face workshops and opportunities for engagement provided via the digital platforms involved 8439 people and the project results dissemination reached at least 500 000 people across the EU. The project encourages bottom-up based modes of collaboration between citizens and the policy-makers. It contributed to an increased interest in the EU politics among citizens, strengthened traditions of respectful public discussion. Increased transnational collaboration among the democracy festival organizers resulted in stronger European dimension of the democracy festivals’ contents in their future editions.
The project is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme.