The NGO Support Centre hosted on the 10th and 11th of September the preparatory, kick-off meeting of its new project ‘Empowering Citizens of Small Member States’ (ECoSMS).
ECoSMS is an 18-month project funded by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Commission being implemented by the NGO Support Centre in collaboration with KOPIN from Malta and EstYES from Estonia.
The project seeks to examine whether and to what extent citizens of small EU member states feel that they have diminished influence as citizens of the European Union. Additionally, ECoSMS will explore the way such views affect citizens’ stance towards the EU at a practical level i.e. whether they are a cause of absenteeism in the European Elections. More importantly it will pursue ways to address these fears/feelings and explore ways to empower citizens of smaller EU states.
During the meeting, the three partners of the project;,NGO Support Centre from Cyprus, KOPIN from Malta and EstYes from Estonia discussed the actions of the project and laid out a strategy for the fulfilment of its pre-set objectives.
The project will commence with each partner organization conducting research in its own country which will involve a survey with semi-random sampling that will allow us to measure citizens’ perceptions on the issue. Then, a local round-table debate will be organized in each country, with the participation of local stakeholders (academics, CSO practitioners, politicians) and citizens from various field, to present and discuss the outcomes of the research. Participants will also be encouraged to lay out their own views, share their experiences and make suggestions. This information will be used to draft a policy for each country.
Finally, a conference will be held in Cyprus in 2016, where representatives of the partner organizations will present their policy papers and country case and discuss the issue with local stakeholders, academics and CSO practitioners. Based on the outcomes of the conference a joint policy paper will be drafted and advocated by the partner organizations to local and European stakeholders.
Follow our website for frequent updates about the project and its actions.