On 14 April 2014, the Council of the European Union unanimously adopted a regulation setting up the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme for the period 2014-2020.
This EU programme offers funding support in two main areas:
European Remembrance: This strand of the programme focusses on Europe as a peace project. The memories of the past must stay in mind, while the future must be fore-fronted and thoughts in this regard are paramount to success in the region politically, financially and culturally. The programme will support initiatives that reflect on the causes of the totalitarian regimes that blighted Europe’s recent history, look at its other defining moments and reference points, and consider different historical perspectives. Remembering the lessons of the past is a pre-requisite for building a brighter future.
Democratic engagement and civic participation: This part of the programme aims at strengthening the general public’s understanding of how EU policies are shaped today. It also fosters the close involvement of civil society in European policy-making. Citizens’ organisations can draw on funding to encourage and develop the responsible, democratic civic engagement of the general public in the processes of European integration.
The Steps Taken
The programme committee was established and adoption of its rules of procedure and of the annual work programme for 2014 that included the annual priorities for 2014 were established.
Publication of the programme guide that included information on funding opportunities, application procedures and a calendar for the submission of applications was also established. The first deadline for submission of applications for town twinning projects, networks of twinned towns and remembrance projects was provisionally set for June 2014 and the second deadline for submission of applications for town twinning projects, networks of twinned towns and civil society projects was provisionally set for September 2014.
The selection of the beneficiaries of operating grants offered through the funding programme, and signature of the associated award decisions were decided upon in June 2014.
What This Means for European Citizens
Any citizen within the European Union can now be better educated on funding available and let’s citizens within the region know more about policy steps being taken within the region.
What This Means for Arabs Gaining European Citizenship
The programme has many benefits for Arabs residing in Europe. Through gaining vital knowledge of how policies are made, the cultural nuances of European politics are open fare to Arab investors, thus allowing for better understanding of what potential legislation may be made and why existing legislation is in place.
Arabs may also choose to create or enter citizens’ organisations and look to strengthen the image of citizens who’ve invested in the country to gain passports. Equally, it could serve to meet quotas set by individual citizenship programmes.
Equally, the reflection on previous totalitarian regimes that were prevalent across Europe will only help to strengthen the position for Arabs within the region in terms of attitudes towards despicable governance through prejudice and an understanding of tolerance at the top of the agenda for Europe.
The next five years look to be a fervent time for Arab investors into Europe. This program and its ongoing success, making funding available to organisations whose idyll has civic duty at their cores, are vital for the whole EU region and every citizen within it.
Heaven forbid another widespread fascist movement were to grip the region. Programmes such as this can only benefit global citizens.