FORCEP – Forwarding Democratic EU Participation CERV / Networks of Towns

Project Number: 101054252

Dates: 01.04.2022 – 31.03.2024         Website: www.forcep.eu

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Summary

To address the gap and needs of the field, the IDEAL project’s objectives are to:

  • Build the capacity of senior adult educators to become digitally literate in their teaching practices, by supporting development of professional networks across Europe
  • Build the competencies of senior adults to use basic digital tools in their every day life, by simplifying the implementation and accessibility of high quality teaching and learning programmes in all forms of adult education, and making them relevant to the needs of individual and the society at large
  • Build a digital competence to senior adult learners, in order to be able to use computers to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information and also to be able to communicate and participate in collaborative networks via the Internet. Using internet and communication technologies requires a critical and reflective attitude towards available information. The project aims to create basic digital skills to the senior adult learners based on the perspective of non-formal lifelong learning, in order to help them to overcome the challenges arising from their everyday life, by spending time in another country to benefit from innovative learning organised through cooperation between the sending and hosting organisations. Through these 2 phases activities, adult learners with fewer opportunities, in particular low-skilled senior adult learners, in line with the Erasmus quality standards, will be able to build the basic use of digital tools, by raising the participation of adults of all ages and socio-economic background in adult education, especially by fostering participation of organisations working with disadvantaged learners and small adult education providers, as well.

Project Partners

Newsfeed

The FORCEP project, under Project No: 101054252-CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN-NT, convened its Kick-off Meeting on December 16, 2022, at the Social Innovation and Cohesion Institute – Fifty-Fifty, located in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The meeting initiated with participant registration and coffee, providing an opportunity for attendees to network and settle in before the formal proceedings.

The session began with the introduction of the FORCEP project partners. The consortium comprises the Social Innovation and Cohesion Institute – Fifty-Fifty (Coordinator, Greece), Drustvo za razvijanje prostovoljnega dela Novo mesto (Slovenia), Asociatia A.S.E.L. RO (Romania), Comune di Penne (Italy), West-Pannon Nonprofit Ltd. (Hungary), Municipality of Kalnik (Croatia), and Municipality of Almoradi (Spain). This diverse partnership underscores the project’s commitment to fostering collaboration across multiple European regions.

Following the introductions, an overview of the FORCEP project was presented, detailing the project’s timeline, key milestones, objectives, important deadlines, and review stages. This comprehensive outline ensured that all partners were aligned with the project’s strategic direction and understood their roles and responsibilities in achieving the project’s goals.

The subsequent session focused on the nine work packages and eleven thematic events that constitute the core of the FORCEP project. This discussion highlighted the desired outcomes for each work package, the quality standards to be maintained, the materials required for the events, and the expected impact on the target communities. By setting clear expectations, the session aimed to ensure that all activities would contribute effectively to the project’s overarching objectives.

Following the lunch break, the meeting reconvened with a session dedicated to communication, dissemination, and evaluation strategies. This segment of the kick-off meeting encompassed discussions on the project’s communication goals, dissemination strategies to ensure wide reach, quality standards to maintain, task distribution among partners, and the timeline for achieving key milestones. Effective communication and dissemination are crucial for amplifying the project’s outcomes and ensuring they have a meaningful impact on policies and practices.

The final session of the day was dedicated to evaluation, providing an opportunity to reflect on the discussions, assess the initial plans, and ensure that all partners were aligned on the next steps. This session was crucial for setting a solid foundation for ongoing collaboration and continuous improvement throughout the project’s lifecycle.

The FORCEP Kick-off Meeting successfully established a clear and cohesive plan for the project’s implementation. By fostering a collaborative environment and setting clear objectives and standards, the meeting laid the groundwork for the FORCEP project’s efforts to enhance democratic participation across Europe through innovative and impactful initiatives.

Click to Download: EDS 1

The FORCEP project, under Project No: 101054252-CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN-NT, held a significant meeting in Slovenia from January 16th to 18th, 2023.

This meeting brought together various stakeholders to collaborate and share best practices aimed at promoting sustainable urban development, addressing unemployment, and empowering socially excluded groups. The venue for this meeting was the Municipality of Novo mesto and other associated locations, with participants accommodated at the Hotel and Apartments Ravbar.

On January 16th, participants arrived throughout the day and checked into their accommodations. The day concluded with a welcome dinner at Gostišče Loka, setting an informal tone for networking and initial interactions among the attendees. This dinner was crucial for fostering a sense of community and easing participants into the collaborative spirit of the meeting.

The official proceedings commenced on January 17th with a morning session at the Municipality of Novo mesto’s City Hall. The initial segment included welcome speeches and a short presentation of the FORCEP project, providing a comprehensive overview of the project’s goals, timeline, and key milestones. A notable presentation on Novo mesto’s Sustainable Urban-Development Strategy, titled “City of History and Future,” highlighted the city’s developmental vision, integrating historical preservation with future growth.

Following the morning session, participants walked to the Development and Education Centre Novo mesto (RIC NM). This journey not only facilitated a brief exploration of the city but also symbolized the transition from theoretical discussions to practical insights. At RIC NM, a study visit focused on sharing good practices in combating unemployment and empowering socially excluded groups. This session was instrumental in providing actionable insights and real-world examples relevant to the project’s objectives.

After a networking lunch at Gostilnica Barba, the participants proceeded to the Development Centre Novo mesto: Business Incubator Podbreznik and Europe Direct Point. Here, sessions were conducted on EU policies and programs related to environmental protection and the green labor market, including a presentation on LabTop. These discussions underscored the importance of integrating sustainability with economic development and provided innovative approaches to fostering green entrepreneurship.

The afternoon concluded with a return to the city center and a walking tour of Novo mesto’s Old Town. This tour offered participants a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural and historical context, enhancing their appreciation of the local environment. The day ended with another dinner at Gostišče Loka, providing further opportunities for reflection and informal exchanges.

On January 18th, participants had breakfast at their hotel before checking out and preparing for departure. This final morning allowed participants to consolidate their learnings and network further before leaving Novo mesto.

The FORCEP meeting in Slovenia was a pivotal event that facilitated the exchange of knowledge and best practices among European partners. Through presentations, study visits, and interactive sessions, participants gained valuable insights into sustainable urban development, strategies for reducing unemployment, and methods for empowering marginalized communities. The event not only advanced the objectives of the FORCEP project but also strengthened the collaborative network among European municipalities and organizations committed to fostering social innovation and cohesion.

Click To Download: EDS 2

The 3rd study visit titled “Raise Your Voice: Unemployment in the Centre of Europe,” held from November 13 to 15, 2023, across Thessaloniki and Siatista, Greece, represented a comprehensive exploration of unemployment issues within the European context, emphasizing the role of democratic participation and e-Democracy in shaping policy and civic engagement.

The event began in Thessaloniki with the primary objective of facilitating profound engagement and knowledge exchange among participants. Following registration, Mr. Ioannis Vanidis, President of the Social Innovation and Cohesion Institute, delivered welcoming remarks. His address centered on empowering democratic participation and underscored the critical role of unemployment in shaping EU policy. The focus was on creating a platform for robust discussions and insights into addressing socio-economic challenges through collaborative efforts and policy innovation within the EU framework.

Speakers such as Ms. Dimitra Fantidou and Ms. Alkistis Margka provided critical insights into leveraging e-Democracy and reconstructing civic life to address unemployment challenges effectively. These sessions were complemented by workshops where participants shared best practices from partner cities, aiming to develop inclusive policymaking strategies.

Day two in Siatista featured round table discussions on “Digital Tools for Democratic Engagement” and “Strategies for Building Resilient Communities,” fostering collaboration and generating actionable plans. A cultural evening further facilitated networking and cultural exchange among attendees, enriching the participatory experience.

The final day included a study visit to the Municipality of Voio and Western Macedonia’s decision-making departments, allowing participants to interact with local policymakers and explore initiatives tackling unemployment. The event concluded with a reflective session and the formulation of action plans, reaffirming the commitment to enhancing EU policies through informed civic engagement.

The decision to prioritize this study visit before subsequent events underscored strategic considerations, including participant availability and logistical feasibility. By reordering the sequence, the project maximized stakeholder engagement and operational efficiency, ensuring the timely achievement of project milestones.

Overall, the “Raise Your Voice” study visit exemplified a rigorous academic approach to addressing unemployment within the European context, emphasizing collaborative strategies and innovative solutions to promote active citizenship and policy influence.

Click To Download: EDS 3

The study visit titled “Unemployed Active Citizenship in the European Decision Making,” set to take place on January 26, 2024, at Hotel Continental Forum București in Bucharest, Romania, reflects a meticulous approach to exploring critical themes concerning unemployment and citizen engagement within the European Union framework.

The day commences with a formal registration period, followed by an introductory session featuring welcome addresses from project leaders and concise presentations outlining the diverse backgrounds of participating organizations. This initial segment sets the stage by establishing the overarching objectives of the study visit and the relevance of the FORCEP project in addressing pressing unemployment challenges across EU member states.

Subsequent sessions during the morning delve into detailed case studies from Romania, Hungary, and Slovenia, offering comprehensive insights into local approaches and strategies employed to tackle unemployment issues. These presentations are designed to provide a nuanced understanding of regional dynamics and initiatives aimed at fostering active citizenship among unemployed populations.

A pivotal panel discussion follows, focusing on the effective collaboration between local authorities and civic organizations to enhance community engagement. This interactive dialogue aims to uncover best practices and innovative methodologies for empowering citizens in decision-making processes at local and European levels.

After a brief coffee break, participants engage in a workshop session dedicated to designing and planning local events tailored to promote active citizenship. This practical exercise encourages attendees to brainstorm and develop actionable strategies that resonate with the specific needs and challenges faced by unemployed individuals across different EU regions.

The post-lunch session shifts focus to exploring strategic frameworks and technological advancements that can effectively bolster citizen participation in EU decision-making arenas. Keynote speeches and discussions underscore the role of policy initiatives and digital tools in bridging the gap between citizens and governance structures, fostering a more inclusive and participatory European democracy.

Parallel breakout sessions in the afternoon allow participants to analyze successful practices and case studies from various EU countries. These sessions facilitate in-depth discussions on the critical factors contributing to the success of citizen engagement initiatives, providing valuable insights for replication and adaptation in diverse socio-economic contexts.

The keynote address emphasized collaborative efforts between citizen groups and local authorities, showcasing exemplary initiatives that have effectively strengthened partnerships and civic participation. This address underscored the importance of such collaborations in fostering a more inclusive and participatory governance framework across European communities.

 

The day concludes with a networking dinner featuring Romanian cuisine, fostering informal exchanges and further enhancing the sense of community among participants. This social component not only reinforces professional relationships but also underscores the importance of cultural exchange in shaping cohesive European citizenship.

In essence, the study visit embodies a structured approach to fostering academic discourse and practical exchange on the complex intersections of unemployment, citizen engagement, and EU policy frameworks. By combining theoretical insights with practical applications, the event aims to equip participants with actionable strategies and innovative solutions to drive meaningful change in their local contexts and contribute to a more participatory European

Click To Download: EDS 4

The 1st workshop (roundtable) titled “Unemployed Active Citizenship: COVID-19 Effects, Labour Market Changes, and Opportunities,” organized under FORCEP Project No: 101054252 and part of the CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN-NT call, was held from March 23 to 25, 2024, in Kalnik, Croatia.

The event commenced with participant arrivals, setting the stage for a focused exploration of unemployment challenges amidst COVID-19 and opportunities for active citizenship across Croatia, Slovenia, and Greece. Welcoming greetings and presentations on the local unemployment and active citizenship situation in Croatia provided context and initiated discussions on regional dynamics.

Day two began with formal registrations and welcoming speeches from the Mayor of the Municipality of Kalnik and project leaders, emphasizing collaborative efforts in addressing unemployment issues. Presentations followed, highlighting specific challenges and case studies from Croatia, Slovenia, and Greece, which served to enrich understanding and foster comparative analysis.

A lecture by the Croatian Employment Service on “Employment and Labour Issues” deepened insights into national strategies and responses. Subsequent discussions brought together participants from all countries to brainstorm common challenges and propose innovative solutions, promoting cross-border learning and cooperation.

The afternoon session featured a speech by a local representative on “Local and Regional Authorities’ Policy Adjustments due to COVID-19,” underscoring adaptive governance strategies amidst pandemic-induced economic shifts. This was followed by a round table and breakout sessions focusing on the pandemic’s impact on the EU economy, sectoral disparities, and successful practices in response.

A workshop on “Measures to Meet the Needs of EU Citizens: Community and Democratic Values” highlighted initiatives promoting citizen engagement, exemplifying best practices from Romania. These sessions encouraged robust dialogue and knowledge-sharing, aiming to bolster resilience and democratic participation in post-pandemic recovery efforts.

Day three included a city tour and dedicated reflection time, allowing participants to consolidate insights gained and formulate actionable outcomes. Throughout the workshop, scheduled breaks and networking opportunities facilitated meaningful interactions, fostering a collaborative atmosphere conducive to effective knowledge exchange and partnership building.

The workshop exemplified an academic approach to addressing complex socio-economic challenges, emphasizing cross-national cooperation, policy innovation, and community resilience in the face of transformative global events like COVID-19. By leveraging diverse perspectives and sharing best practices, FORCEP continues to advance its mission of forwarding democratic EU participation and fostering inclusive growth across member states.

Click To Download: EDS 5

The roundtable 2 event titled “Unemployed Active Citizenship: Benefits & Ways of Activation” took place in Penne, Italy from April 3 to 5, 2024, as part of the FORCEP project under the European program CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN-NT.

Roundtable 2 integrated a mix of structured presentations, dialogues, and cultural engagements focused on tackling unemployment and advocating for active citizenship.

Day 1 commenced with the arrival of participants between 10:00 and 15:00, followed by a city tour from 15:30 to 17:00. This initial activity served as both an orientation and an opportunity for participants to familiarize themselves with Penne’s cultural and historical context. The day concluded with an intercultural dinner from 18:00 to 19:00, fostering an atmosphere of camaraderie and networking among the attendees.

The second day began with registrations from 10:00 to 10:30. Official greetings were delivered by the mayor of Penne and project leaders from 10:30 to 11:00, setting the stage for the day’s sessions. The first formal session from 11:00 to 11:30 involved a presentation on labor market challenges faced by enterprises and workers, featuring case studies from the textile and internationalization sectors. This was followed by a discussion from 11:30 to 12:00 on the evolving roles of Job Centres and the EURES network.

A coffee break from 12:00 to 12:30 allowed participants to engage in informal discussions. From 12:30 to 13:30, a focused discussion addressed employability issues, providing a platform for stakeholders to voice concerns and propose solutions. A lunch break from 13:30 to 14:30 provided further networking opportunities.

The afternoon session from 14:30 to 15:00 explored the role of universities in higher education and technology transfer, emphasizing the alignment of specialist skills acquisition with employment. Distinguished speakers included Professors Pierluigi Sacco, Alessandro Crociata, and Stefano Cianciotta from the “G. D’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, who provided insights into cultural and behavioral economics and strategic analysis.

From 15:00 to 15:30, challenges faced by employer organizations were discussed, with contributions from Dr. Luigi Di Giosaffatte, Director of CONFINDUSTRIA Abruzzo, and Mr. Riccardo Padovano, President of CONFCOMMERCIO Abruzzo. This was followed by a session from 15:30 to 16:00 on the role of the Abruzzo Region in promoting employability, featuring regional councilors Lorenzo Sospiri and Leonardo D’Addazio.

The next session from 16:00 to 16:30 focused on the European Social Fund Plus’s challenges in active labor policies, with insights from Dr. Renata Durante, Director of the Abruzzo Region. The day’s formal activities culminated in a roundtable from 16:30 to 17:30, where participants discussed employment challenges and the active involvement of citizens and stakeholders in shaping future EU policies.

A city tour from 17:30 to 19:00 allowed participants to relax and explore Penne further. The day concluded with a dinner at 19:30, providing additional opportunities for networking and informal discussions.

The final day began with a visit to the Lago di Penne nature reserve and city museums from 10:00 to 12:30, highlighting the region’s natural and cultural heritage. This was followed by a reflections session from 12:30 to 13:00, where participants consolidated insights and formulated proposals for enhancing municipal networks. The meeting concluded with a lunch at 13:30, marking the end of a productive and insightful gathering.

The roundtable in Penne successfully facilitated a comprehensive exploration of unemployment and active citizenship. Through a combination of expert presentations, collaborative discussions, and cultural immersion, participants were able to exchange knowledge, identify best practices, and develop strategies to enhance employability and civic engagement across Europe. The event underscored the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration and the role of local and regional initiatives in addressing complex socio-economic challenges.

Click To Download: EDS 6

The FORCEP project, under the European program CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN-NT, hosted Seminar 1 titled “Unemployed Active Citizenship: Time for Activation!” from April 23 to 24, 2024, at the Social Innovation and Cohesion Institute – Fifty-Fifty in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The seminar commenced with participant registration and introductory remarks from project leaders and representatives of the participating organizations. This opening session set the stage for the seminar’s focus on the nexus of unemployment and active citizenship. The initial discussion highlighted the significance of intercultural dialogue and the exchange of knowledge and experiences.

Following a brief intermission for coffee, the second session examined the intersection between unemployment and active citizenship. This session aimed to elucidate the multifaceted relationship between these phenomena, providing a foundation for subsequent discussions.

Post-lunch activities included a group exercise designed to identify barriers to active citizenship. This interactive team-building activity engaged participants in a critical analysis of the obstacles to active citizenship within the context of unemployment. The collaborative nature of this exercise fostered a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by unemployed individuals in engaging with civic activities.

The day continued with a seminar session dedicated to analyzing case studies of successful active citizenship initiatives that address unemployment. This session offered practical insights and real-world examples of effective strategies, serving as a source of inspiration for participants.

The first day concluded with a recap and evaluation session, summarizing the key discussions and takeaways. The evening concluded with a dinner featuring traditional Greek cuisine, providing an informal setting for further networking and discussion.

Day 2 began with a brief recap of the previous day’s activities and an overview of the sessions planned for the day. Participants then engaged in a group laboratory activity focused on design thinking for innovative solutions. This exercise encouraged creative problem-solving and the development of actionable strategies.

The fourth seminar session provided an in-depth analysis of unemployment trends and strategies for sustainable active citizenship initiatives. This session aimed to equip participants with a comprehensive understanding of current unemployment dynamics and effective intervention strategies.

After a coffee break, the fifth seminar session explored the role of technology in promoting active citizenship. This session emphasized innovative solutions and digital tools that can address the challenges of unemployment. The subsequent laboratory team workshop focused on leveraging technology for social impact, guiding participants through the process of understanding policy advocacy tools and techniques for influencing legislative change.

The seminar concluded with an evaluation of the day’s activities and a closing ceremony. This final session summarized the key insights and action plans developed over the two days, reinforcing the seminar’s objectives and outcomes.

The seminar provided a rigorous platform for academic discourse on the role of active citizenship in addressing unemployment. Through a blend of presentations, discussions, and interactive activities, participants gained valuable insights and developed collaborative strategies. The FORCEP project continues to support these discussions, fostering initiatives that enhance active citizenship and address unemployment challenges across Europe.

Click To Download: EDS 7

The FORCEP project under the European program CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN-NT organized the 1st seminar titled “Unemployed Active Citizenship: Time for Activation!” The event took place in Szombathely, Hungary, from April 24 to 26, 2024.

With an impressive demonstration of collaborative efforts, the FORCEP project successfully hosted the seminar from April 24 to 26, 2024, in Szombathely, Hungary. This event, in collaboration with municipalities and organizations from various European cities, aimed to address labor market challenges and promote active citizenship among unemployed individuals.

The partner consortium included representatives from several EU countries. The partners were second-level local government bodies (Municipalities) and NGOs representing various municipalities.

Participants arrived in Szombathely on April 24, checking into their accommodations throughout the afternoon. The evening featured a joint dinner, providing an opportunity for networking and preparation for the upcoming sessions.

The main sessions were held at the Westpannon HQ. The seminar began with welcoming words by representatives of the hosting city and organization, followed by brief introductions of the attending partners. The morning sessions included discussions on the current issues of the labor market and employment in Hungary, the role and results of employment pacts, and an analysis of post-COVID employment trends, specifically focusing on Szombathely. A Q&A session provided participants an opportunity to engage with the presenters.

Following a lunch break, the afternoon sessions included a presentation on the policy concept of the active social citizen in the EU and Hungary, discussions on citizen initiatives aimed at involving disadvantaged groups in the labor market, and a review of the successes and failures of local employment policy in Szombathely. Another Q&A session allowed for further engagement.

The day concluded with a roundtable discussion for exchanging knowledge and experiences and developing innovative initiatives for active citizenship. A joint dinner in the evening fostered further networking and collaboration.

The final day featured cultural and informal activities, including a city tour with visits to Iseum Savariense and the Savaria Museum. A joint lunch provided a relaxed setting for final discussions and farewells before participants departed in the afternoon.

The seminar in Szombathely provided a dynamic platform for exploring the intersection of e-democracy, active citizenship, and employment activation. Through a blend of presentations, discussions, and cultural experiences, participants gained valuable insights and forged connections to support their ongoing efforts in enhancing democratic participation and employment opportunities for unemployed citizens.The multifaceted event in Szombathely involved a transformative exploration of ideas and strategies to strengthen active citizenship and employment opportunities across Europe, enriching participants’ understanding of intermunicipal challenges and successes. From insightful discussions on employment policies to perceptive roundtable discussions, participants engaged in an atmosphere of collaboration and shared learning. Their cultural stay in Szombathely offered a unique backdrop for creating connections beyond the seminar hall. The FORCEP project remains committed to reinforcing these discussions, fostering collaborative initiatives, and building bridges that strengthen the fabric of European unity.

Click To Download: EDS 8

The FORCEP project, under the European program CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN-NT, organized the 2nd seminar titled “Unemployed Active Citizenship: Share Good Practices.” The event took place from April 26 to 28, 2024, at the Hotel Continental Forum București in Bucharest, Romania.

With a strong emphasis on collaborative learning and exchange of best practices, the FORCEP project successfully hosted the seminar, bringing together participants from various European cities to address the challenges of unemployment and promote active citizenship among unemployed individuals.

Day 1 commenced with participant registrations, followed by greetings from project leaders and brief presentations from the participating organizations. The seminar officially began with an introduction to the objectives, an overview of unemployment statistics and trends, and a discussion on the importance of active citizenship.

The morning sessions explored factors contributing to unemployment from economic, social, and psychological perspectives, providing a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted issue. After a lunch break, attendees engaged in a team exercise that focused on sharing successful strategies and initiatives for involving unemployed individuals in civic activities.

The afternoon sessions included an exploration of various models of active citizenship, such as volunteerism, community engagement, advocacy, and political participation. A laboratory exercise allowed participants to break into groups to discuss specific topics, share personal experiences, and brainstorm solutions and strategies.

Case studies of successful initiatives from different regions were presented, highlighting key success factors and transferable practices. Further discussions addressed strategies for matching job seekers with skills demands in the labor market and effective advocacy strategies for addressing unemployment issues. The final session of the day focused on advocacy and policy change, discussing successful campaigns at local, national, and international levels.

The day concluded with a recap of insights, ideas generated, and the development of action plans for participants’ communities, followed by an evaluation of the day’s sessions. Participants then enjoyed a joint dinner, fostering further networking and collaboration.

Day 2 began with group work and discussions, with breakout groups formed based on participants’ interests and expertise. Topics included innovative approaches to skill development, advocacy strategies for policy change, and building sustainable support networks. A coffee break provided a brief respite before participants engaged in collaborative brainstorming exercises on advocacy tactics and campaign planning.

The seminar concluded with an evaluation of the second day’s activities and a closing ceremony, followed by a joint lunch.

The seminar in Bucharest provided a dynamic platform for exploring the intersection of e-democracy, active citizenship, and employment activation. Through a blend of presentations, discussions, and interactive activities, participants gained valuable insights and forged connections to support their ongoing efforts in enhancing democratic participation and employment opportunities for unemployed citizens.

The multifaceted event in Bucharest involved a transformative exploration of ideas and strategies to strengthen active citizenship and employment opportunities across Europe, enriching participants’ understanding of intermunicipal challenges and successes. From insightful discussions on employment policies to perceptive roundtable discussions, participants engaged in an atmosphere of collaboration and shared learning. The FORCEP project remains committed to reinforcing these discussions, fostering collaborative initiatives, and building bridges that strengthen the fabric of European unity.

Click To Download: EDS 10

The Municipality of Voio organized the conference titled “e-Democracy: A Tool for Activating Unemployed Citizens’ Participation” as part of the FORCEP project under the European program CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN-NT. The event took place in Siatista, Greece, on April 29, 2024.

With a focus on enhancing democratic engagement and employment activation through digital tools, the Municipality of Voio successfully hosted this conference under the FORCEP project on April 29, 2024. The event brought together representatives from various organizations and municipalities to discuss innovative approaches to e-democracy and its impact on unemployed citizens.

The conference began with registrations from 10:00 to 10:30, followed by greetings and short presentations from project leaders and participating organizations. The Mayor of the Municipality of Voio delivered a welcome speech, setting the stage for a day of insightful discussions and collaborative efforts.

At 11:00, a review of the project’s impact on e-democracy and unemployed citizens’ participation was presented, featuring a panel discussion with representatives from the Municipality of Voio and other organizations. This session highlighted the progress and challenges faced in engaging unemployed citizens through digital democratic tools.

A coffee break at 12:30 provided an opportunity for informal networking, after which participants engaged in an open debatable thematic discussion on “Ensuring Proper Governance and Quality.” Breakout tables were organized to develop strategies for future engagement and participation of unemployed citizens.

After a lunch break from 14:00 to 15:00, the conference resumed with a speech on “Digital Tools for Employment Activation.” A local representative and policy expert demonstrated innovative digital government services that support employment activation, showcasing practical applications and success stories.

Following this, policy experts discussed recommendations for governments and institutions to support e-democracy and employment activation, emphasizing the role of digital tools and platforms in helping unemployed citizens find work.

The final speech of the day, “E-Democracy as a Tool for Social Inclusion,” was delivered by a representative from a successful local government initiative. This speech illustrated how e-democracy can reduce social exclusion and engage marginalized groups, sharing best practices and lessons learned.

The conference concluded with a reflection session from 17:00 to 17:30, allowing participants to reflect on the day’s discussions and consolidate their insights. The day ended with a dinner at 19:30, featuring a taste of Romanian dishes, fostering further networking and cultural exchange.

The event in Siatista marked a significant step in promoting e-democracy and activating unemployed citizens’ participation, underlining the importance of digital innovation in enhancing democratic engagement and social inclusion. The FORCEP project continues to support these initiatives, aiming to create more inclusive and participatory communities across Europe.

Click To Download: EDS 11