The citizen in the European Union

April 2010

Europe faces migration-related challenges in education, the labour market and politics

Increasing migration in Europe means that greater efforts are needed to integrate migrant groups in three important areas - schools, the labour market and politics. Policy makers in these areas at both national and EU level are urged to improve access to schooling regardless of the legal status of the student, to prevent schools from developing an ‘all immigrant’ demographic, to fight discrimination in the labour market and to give political rights to long term immigrants.....more

June 2010

New network encourages active citizenship in Europe

New insights into the role of cultural diversity and active citizenship in Europe have emerged from a research network set up to encourage more citizens to participate in policy making at all levels of society. Mass emigration, dual nationality, the rise of nationalism and inter-ethnic conflicts are all important current issues that question society’s previous straightforward understanding of state citizenship. The CINEFOGO network believes that in order for people, especially young people, to practise active citizenship, they need to form an identity, develop a set of civic values and develop a sense of belonging to a democratic entity.....more

July 2010

European contract law: Boosting cross-border trade and ensuring strong rights for consumers

Organisations frustrated by many differences in contract law within the European Union may soon find relief. The European Commission has just appointed an 18-member expert group to examine the possibility of creating an ‘optional European contract law’. The group is carrying forward work done by an EU-funded Network of Excellence which has already produced a Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR). The Frame of Reference could provide a basis for harmonising European contract law......more

September 2010

Building European citizenship by improving democracy in the EU

The European Union is facing challenges and questions to its legitimacy and democratic capacities due to a dual process of integration and decentralisation at both the national and European level. At such a time it is particularly important to address the issues around the concept of EU citizenship.......more

October 2010

Ordinary citizens need to identify with Europe to ensure its long-term success

For the long term success of the European Union, it is essential that ordinary citizens identify with the 'European Project'. However, previous research into European identity has taken a 'top down' elitist perspective rather than a 'grass-roots' approach.......more

November 2010

Addressing the combination of gender and racial/ethnic discrimination

Discrimination is a complex phenomenon that can occur at many levels. The GendeRace project has investigated the combined effects of gender and racial/ethnic discrimination in Europe, and indicated that men and women differ in their experiences and reactions. Although there are comprehensive legal frameworks at both a European and national level to ensure equal treatment, multiple discrimination needs greater consideration.......more

December 2010

Complexities and challenges of ‘being European’

Being European has different meanings for different nations and for different groups of people within those nations. The IME research project aims to understand the complexities of these identities and their interactions. Its preliminary results have indicated differences in how nations embrace ‘being European’.......more

February 2011

Marginalised people enact EU citizenship to expand and deepen it

New research shows how the actions of groups and individuals on the margins of the European Union, just as much as those of formal EU institutions, have an impact on EU identity and its policies on citizenship.......more

April 2011

FEMCIT: The quest for a gender-fair Europe

The FEMCIT research project has studied how citizenship is gendered, and how women, as citizens and activists, have been involved in challenging inequalities and injustice across Europe. While the project stresses the significant remaking of citizenship enacted by women’s movements over the past four decades, it acknowledges that Europe today is still a long way from being truly gender-fair. As highlighted by the project, although a number of women's movements’ demands have been partially or totally accommodated in the past, “ongoing structural and social changes mean that women's movements are facing new challenges”.......more

May 2011

Expanded EU: Challenges to good neighbourhood relations

The expanded European Union has a highly diverse population with many different languages and ethnicities that are continuously changing due to globalisation and migration. This creates complex challenges to and opportunities for good neighbourhood relations across and within nation states.......more

June 2011

Using history to combat old stereotypes and foster citizenship

Historical stereotypes, xenophobia and prejudices have acquired new vigour and support in the face of economic problems in a growing and expanding Europe. Selective and unquestioned attitudes among historians can underpin pervasive ideas about identities, and national, religious, gender and political stereotypes. Researchers recommend a transnational understanding of EU ‘history’ to help achieve a more inclusive European citizenship.......more

July 2011

Arts festivals foster cultural exchange: Increased EU support for festivals could enhance their positive impact on society

European arts festivals are the ideal platforms to promote the core values of the EU, such as supporting cultural diversity and encouraging transnational integration, according to a new report1. The researchers recommend an increased ‘presence’ of the EU at contemporary arts festivals across Europe, through active participation, direct funding and sponsorship.......more

October 2011

Helping Europe bridge the gender gap

Over the past five years the QUING research project has been systematically comparing gender equality policies and discourses in all 27 EU Member States plus Turkey and Croatia. Now, having recently completed their ambitious project, the researchers have produced a wealth of data and analysis that are expected to shape the European Union’s approach to gender and equality issues well into the future. The findings reveal major differences – but also some important similarities - in the way EU Member States understand and address gender-related challenges.....more

November 2011

Learning to improve governance for all and by all

Capacity building of collective actors is essential to prevent market failures or failures related to direct governmental regulations imposed in the name of public interest, as identified by the REFGOV (Reflexive Governance) research project. To improve the situation, the project proposes to involve actors and users, or stakeholders in a common process of self-evaluation of their identity and objectives in which lessons from local experiments are pooled and cross-regional/cross-country learning is fostered.....more

February 2012

Ethnic identity less significant for younger generations in Central and Eastern Europe

The ENRI-East research project is the first large-scale comparative investigation of ethnic identity amongst younger generations in Central and Eastern Europe, and places new survey data within a broader historical framework. According to the research, younger generations are less concerned with their ethnic identity and show more favourable attitudes towards Europe than older generations. Targeted support is required to encourage the continued integration of young ethnic minorities into their host countries, and the adoption of European values......more

April 2012

National museums need to adapt to Europe’s changing multicultural society

National museums are often seen as the backbone of a nation’s cultural constitution, promoting a sense of traditionalism and national pride. However, in recent times they risk losing significance if they do not adjust to social, political and demographic changes. The EUNAMUS research project, which has been exploring the role of contemporary museums in reconciling these conflicting demands, shows that museums can be a great asset to nation states, but they will need to adapt to stay relevant in a constantly changing society......more

May 2012

Challenges of cultural heritage reconstruction after conflict

The CRIC research project aims to improve understanding of the complex roles cultural heritage sites play during conflict and post-conflict situations, and to help guide crucial decisions made by policy makers and regional actors with regard to reconstruction efforts and the outcomes that can result from the reconstruction of such sites. The project’s findings are highly relevant in terms of helping to improve EU Member States’ inter-state relations, to create a forward-looking way of dealing with Europe’s complex past, and as an aid to reconciliation as heritage may be used for common tasks and forward looking enterprises......more

June 2012

How to re-engage young people with politics

Many people in the European Union have become disengaged from conventional politics, according to the PIDOP research project, which finds a high variation in participation levels according to gender, ethnicity and age. An important way of overcoming this lack of engagement is to ensure young people have access to a range of organisations that give them roles and responsibilities, and involve them in decision-making processes......more

July 2012

Updated policies needed to support Europe’s linguistic diversity

Maintaining linguistic diversity – both protecting minority languages and promoting language learning – is defined as a strategic political aim in Europe. However, the knowledge base of existing policies and initiatives is in urgent need of updating, in line with Europe’s rapidly changing linguistic landscape......more

July 2012

Policies needed to ensure an independent media in Europe

Understanding what constitutes independent media needs a move away from the simplistic view that state influence is inherently stifling while market-driven media is free and independent. According to the MEDIADEM research project, while it is not feasible to eliminate all different kinds of media dependencies, it is important to recognise what those dependencies are, remove those that can be eliminated and mitigate the effects of those that remain......more

September 2012

Citizen participation succeeds with ‘softer’ impacts on complex policy making

There is a strong desire in Europe to involve citizens in science and technology policy making where complex issues with wide relevance to society are concerned. One way of involving citizens is through ‘participatory technology assessment’ (PTA) exercises. The CIT-PART research project investigated the impact of PTAs on one controversial issue – ‘xenotransplantation’ (cross-species cell, tissue or organ transplants). CIT-PART found that while PTAs had little direct impact on policy in the cases studied, they could be considered a partial success because they had created and stimulated public debate......more

September 2012

MediaAct – Striving for media pluralism in the digital age

According to the democratic ideal, fair and open media should exist in society without political intervention. But sometimes self-regulation of the media is no more desirable than governmental control. According to the MediaAct research project, the ‘gold standard’ in Europe should be ‘regulated self-regulation’, whereby the media industry is expected to self-regulate but that governmental actors (at the national and European level) should be allowed to intervene if standards drop. Finding a way to combine the business and journalistic aspects of mass media will be key, say the researchers......more