CES joins international project aimed at enhancing democratic participation of mobile EU citizens

September 2019

The Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra (UC) is one of the members of the international consortium awarded with one of the EU “Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program” grants. PRODEMO, the granted project, aims at promoting awareness on EU electoral rights, and fostering democratic participation of mobile EU citizens.

With a global funding of €300,000, over a 24 months period, the consortium (composed by the University of Roma ‘La Sapienza’, PROGEU-Progress in European Union, Programma Integra Società Cooperativa Globale, The Democratic Society, and CES) will assess and compare current trends on political and civic awareness of EU citizens living abroad.

PRODEMO will be primarily focused on examining the causes and consequences of the (generally-) low awareness of EU citizens living abroad about their electoral rights. In the pursuit of such endeavor, it will address a number of key aspects related to civic engagement and democratic rights in the Union. These include, first, the challenges faced by EU citizens who decide to participate in elections (e.g. linguistic barriers); second, the societal and cultural factors that foster the sense of detachment of citizens living abroad; third, the evolution that the concept of trust has undergone over the last decades, and the impact it has on citizens-institutions relationships.

PRODEMO has set an ambitious agenda of actions – including information provided to 30.000 EU mobile citizens on their right to participate in EU and local elections; the implementation of a skills-sharing program for a selected pool of community leaders, and non-profit organisation devoted to the integration of foreign people and the promotion of political participation; the development of a mobile app devoted to information-sharing and community-building across EU citizens.

The CES project team, composed by Giovanni Allegretti and Gianluca Sgueo, will engage in both research-based (i.e. desk review and analysis), outreach activities (including the organisation of workshops and awareness raising campaigns) and evaluation, with a particular focus on the EU mobile citizen participation in the municipal elections in Rome in 2021.