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Across Europe, governments are facing major challenges in how they fund and deliver public services to citizens and particularly those most in need. This has been driven by the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing market instability.

About the Fostering A Citizen’s Europe (FACE) project

There is a need to find innovative ways to retain service provision, without spending large sums of tax money.

First in the UK, but now also in other European countries, ‘localism’ and ‘the big society’ have become buzz words featuring high on political agendas. The terms mark a shift in ideological assumptions about the imagined role of communities and the state, and presumed benefits of devolving power downwards to empowered citizens.

There is a longer term underlying dynamic of economic restructuring in Europe that is forcing governments to look for new ways to recast state-citizen relations, to promote civil society and to help citizens to help themselves, especially in deprived communities and our response, both within nation states and Europe as a whole, will radically affect how we live in the future.

In response to these challenges, Locality has pulled together a partnership of organisations from four other EU countries who represent existing networks of community practitioners and which have had success in mobilising communities to identify key local priorities in individual neighbourhoods. They are:

  • Landelijk Samenwerkingsverband Aandachtswijken (LSA)- National platform for local people working together to improve living standards in their own neighbourhoods. Utrecht, Netherlands 
  • AEIPLOUS-Institute for Innovation and Sustainable Development. Patras, Western Greece, Greece 
  • Finnish Federation of Settlements (SSL) – Life course-organisation which does cultural- and social work.. Etelä-Suomi Region, Finland www.setlementti-fi
  • Fritidsforum- National Association hosting Youth, Neighbouhood and Community Centers. Stockholm, Sweden

The partnership was successful in bidding for funding for the Fostering A Citizen’s Europe (FACE) project under the Europe for Citizen’s Programme 2007-2013 and specifically through Action 2 – Active Civil Society in Europe, Measure 3 – Support for projects initiated by civil society organisations.

The project runs from 1 August 2012 until 17 May 2013 and aims to exchange best practice and share learning between the partners.  If successful, it may result in the formation of a formal network at the European level to act as a formal channel into EU decision making.