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Marjolein van Bommel
Role
Head of Mobility & Advice / Creative Europe Desk NL
Email
m.vanbommel [at] dutchculture.nl
 

The End of Europe for Citizens as we know it

The End of Europe for Citizens as we know it

After 10 years, DutchCulture is saying farewell to Europe for Citizens, which in future will be housed elsewhere under a new name and with new content.
By Sophie Logothetis

In the Netherlands, the Europe for Citizens contact point officially started on 1 July 2011 at SICA, the forerunner of DutchCulture. The programme, which started in 2007, was an accessible European funding programme that aimed to promote understanding between the European Union and its citizens, raise awareness of what it means to be European and help develop a sense of European identity. This was achieved by supporting international projects that promote active citizenship and democratic participation and that raise awareness of 20th-century European history among European citizens. 

Although the programme was aimed at the social sector, it also had a strong cultural component. Projects with the aim of citizen participation often made use of theatre, pop-up museums or performances; mediums that appeal to the imagination and stimulate the senses. Among other things, the contact point helped with the application process, mediated with the agency in Brussels and assisted in the search for partners. DutchCulture made a substantial contribution by making its network, knowledge and expertise available. It was also possible to work together with the Creative Europe Desk regularly, also located at DutchCulture, as these two programmes complemented each other well.

Results

Our Europe for Citizens NL 2014 - 2020 report (in Dutch) presents interviews and figures which show the impact and consequence this programme had for the social organisations and municipalities that participated. Dutch organisations and municipalities have been able to obtain programme grants every year, which were implemented with great success. For example, the Netherlands has played a significant role in empowering active citizenship, both in the Netherlands and in other countries in Europe. You can read all about it in our publication.

Media
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Europe for Citizens NL 2014-2020
Caption
Europe for Citizens NL 2014-2020
Future

As of 2021, a new programme will be taking its place: Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV), which is not housed with DutchCulture and which has a greater focus on active citizenship, democratic engagement, human rights and countering (gender-based) violence. Where the old Europe for Citizens programme was mainly about active citizenship, the focus on human rights is a new addition. Think of digital civil rights, consumer rights, rights for minorities and children’s rights. At a time when many European countries are faced with extremism, radicalism and polarisation, funding projects of independent civil society organisations that promote European values and rights is a priority. You can find the work programme here. The new contact point for CERV in the Netherlands will from now on be housed at the Ministries of Justice and the Interior.