U-Impact is the acronym of the multi-country cross-border project “From Citizen Involvement to Policy Impact”. It is implemented by nine citizen organizations and supported by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.
The project coordinates citizen involvement with the public authorities on national and European level in eight EU member states and one candidate state in order to develop a sustainable mechanism for increased impact of citizen initiatives on the policy making process in the EU.
The project specifically targets the European Parliament elected in 2014 and aims at increasing the citizen participation in its policy making process in line with its increased power and competences in the Union.
U-Impact consist of a series of policy initiatives developed by citizens across borders in the 9 participating countries with the aim of improving important everyday aspects of their lives as European citizens and directly targets policy impact on European and national level. The aims of the project include:
- improving citizen’s understanding of the new power structure of the Union and the new role of Parliament as well as the opportunities to interact and impact its decision making process;
- helping create a sustainable platform for increased pan-European citizen participation;
- offering concrete solutions to specific European citizen problems and have them debated with European and national policy makers;
- creating an inclusive long lasting network for policy debate and impact involving citizens across borders building on their cultural diversity and promoting the development of a common European public space;
U-Impact builds on the positive experience of the partners in the implementation of the project “Joint Citizen Action for a Stronger, Citizen-Friendly Union” (JoiEU) under which participants have debated and developed policy recommendations in several areas related to European citizenship.
U-Impact works to foster a meaningful debate with policy-makers, including the European Parliament and to build the mechanisms for turning citizen involvement into effective citizen impact on EU policy.
U-Impact is a series of policy initiatives developed jointly by the 9 partners and initiated by citizens of the 9 countries using bottom-up approach. It targets the newly elected European Parliament and the relevant decision-making bodies on national and European level. The character of the policy initiatives reflects specific issues of the daily lives of European citizens and is based on research and interaction with the civil society at large in the participant countries.
U-Impact International Conference “Effective Citizen Impact on EU Policy”
On May 18, 2016, U-Impact partner European Citizen Action Service ECAS carried out an international conference on European Citizenship summing up the results of citizen engagement throughout the U-Impact project and beyond and addressing the major challenges EU citizenship is facing in the current crisis in Europe.
Read the Policy Paper 24 Years of EU Citizenship – Removing the Obstacles to Full Potential
Watch the Conference here ReLive
Why is it important for me?
Interviews with U-Impact partners at the Sofia Conference, April 2015
“Without citizen participation we have laws that are completely unrelated to social reality.”
Aida Barquero, Fundación Ciudadanía
“Including citizens is difficult on the local level, but even more so on an European level.”
Andrei Liimets, Open Estonia Foundation
“Europe is big, we need a local approach.”
Blerina Guga, Partners Albania
“Things that may seem obvious to us are not obvious to everybody.”
Elisabeta Dinu, National Association of Citizen Advice Bureaux, Romania
“Citizen voices may be heard, but that doesn’t mean that action is being taken, so we need to push more.”
Renesa Islam, Cittadinanzattiva Onlus, Italy
“If people are aware of our work, they will join us!”
Savvas Charalambous, NGO Support Centre, Cyprus
“I believe in an EU Where Citizens Are Connected to Decision Makers”
Marta Pont, ECAS, Brussels