CENTAR ZA NOVE INICIJATIVE (CENTER FOR NEW INITIATIVES) - CNI
Central and Eastern European Network for Gender Issues (Zagreb regional)
CNI hosts CEE Network Regional HQ (since 2015, manages its annual think tank „Korčula School“ on gender equality and political decision making. CEE Network and Progresiva have cooperation agreement
Launching local level discussions on the future of Europe to feed into broader decision making through townhall meetings (agoras) and by demistifying the main components (subtitle) under discussion. Target group – local communities, citizens especially women; guest speakers – experts, politicians, activists, writers/journalists. Strengthening transparency and democracy by empowering citizens' to understand the stakes, engage and contribute to the discussion around the Conference on the future of
Croatia: Slavonia (villages/broader municipality) ; Dalmatia (two islands), Slovenia Kopar
Slavonia has become one of the most impoverished regions in Croatia due to the war, migration (within Croatia and abroad) and inspite of its agricultural potential and previous high level of development. It has strong nationalist and clerical influence and in the last elections voted predominantly sovereignist viz EU.
Islands are insular communities, often most conservative and without broader outreach and opportunities for democratic dialogue resulting in apathy and lack of social engagement.
In both regions citizens' participation in national broader political and social dialogue is missing and there is a growing dissatisfaction with the European Union.
Slovenia/Kopar on the boreder with Croatia and Italy used for cross-fertilisation of information, ideas, recommendations
To empower local communities you need to engage them, make them a part of the process, inform them, be transaprent and also be debatable. Provide different options, enlist different expertise and views. This is not a given in these countries e.g. just look at local media and TV outlets. There are only a few that provide an "outlet" to i. forward looking and engaging viewpoint and ii. ask citizens to engage. In this sense, the agora initiative should provide this space - inform, inspire, empower, enl opportunities for societal dialogue within the community and with leaders and decision makers whether from the national level or other regions in the country, as well as from EU countries. Strengthening community and national understanding and cohesion around proposals for the future of Europe.
Citizens from all walks of life irrespective of their political or other affiliation. Agoras will be organised on the principle of open public events (informal public meetings between citizens and public figures). They are meant to bring together diverse groups of interested citizens. Speakers include representatives of the local community (councillor, civil society leaders, respected figures) and those from other parts of Croatia. This would allow for different viewpoints and an open discussion. In the preparation of the agoras special attention is to be paid to minority groups (Romas, Serbs in Slavonia), youth and women.
By consulting the local community leaders and CNI/CEE Network partners on the topics of interest and the mpst appropriate timing for the agoras we shall assemble 3-4 speakers (experts, politicians, society leaders, academics, journalists, media personalities) from the country and abroad to speak on the topics. There would be a local moderator.
The setting should be as open as possible. Each agora will have a speaker from the other region (e.g. in Dalmatia from Slavonia and vice versa) for national cross-fertilisation and learning.
1. Local community understanding of the new European transformative models – Green Deal and Pillar of Social Rights and their contribution to national dialogues on the same
2. Local community support to the same with concrete activities at local level and support to national governments, i.e. positioning at the EU
3. Cross-fertilisation of ideas and potential actions among local communities and the two regions for peer learning and support
Europe is facing a new cycle after the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit etc. The discussions on the future of Europe (Ambition 2030) are only starting and the engagement of citizens through civil society participation is essential not only for the conceptualisation and political decision-making but also for the buy in by the European citizens.
The initiative directly relates to the civil society plans for their engagement in the discussion on the future of Europe, focusing on the two key pillars – the Green Deal and the Europe of social rights. After the Covid-19 pandemic many of the components of the two have surfaced as key priorities e.g. social care, European cooperation on climate change (environmental protection) and health care, subsistence green food production (from farm to fork)
Today, apart from political parties, civil society organisations are focusing on specific issues e.g. education, gender and not providing space for this broader societal dialogue relating to our common European vision and transformation and at strengthening, through understanding, knowledge participatory democracy. There is disenchantment and mistrust in political parties and few advocacy organisations that fill the void.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
4 agoras & 1 Slovenia event, prep mtgs. 21620 EUR
Social media, PR, video production 8,200 EUR
M&E, project mgt./admin, audit 13800 EUR
Difference of 2620 EUR to be civered by the CEE Gender Network budget
Project relevance, project design and potential complementarities