Four events have been carried out within this project attempting to situate the term, the forms, the factors and the participants in Social and Solidarity Economy structures into a broader political context and investigate the relation with the well-known traditional theories and practices concerning the civic participation and the citizens engagement in the democratic life of the United Europe.
Event 1 : from 16/10/2015 to 16/10/2015
The aim of the 1st event (One - day Workshop - Open debate – Public Hearing) was the citizens’ better understanding of the European Union virtues, of its history, achievements and basic fundamental principles as well as of the EU policy making-processes and the function of its mayor institutions. Sub-sessions were dedicated to the celebration of the anniversary of 20+ years of the idea of European citizenship and the diverse instruments of participatory democracy inside the Europe (e.g. referendums), as well as to the results of citizens indifference to participate as political actors and electorate body in the democratic decision-making processes (e.g. elections, debates’ for a and platforms, movements, etc.) Emphasis was given to the “Europe for citizens” programme as a mental space for a deeper discussion on the future of Europe and on the kind of Europe citizens want, as well as a meaningful challenge for the enhancement of democracy inside the united Europe.
Event 2: from 17/10/2015 to 18/10/2015
The aim of the 2nd event (Two - day informal education Workshop) was the raising awareness of already existing institutions, factors and forms of active civic engagement in the democratic life at national and European level, as well as the stimulation of new ones through the encouragement of democratic participation of citizens, particularly of youth and those people from vulnerable groups, by promoting to them opportunities for societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering such as their occupation in cooperatives, non-profit organizations, charities and generally speaking, in social and solidarity economy structures, entrepreneurships and innovations. Emphasis was given to the role of Local Government authorities for a strong, sustainable, prosperous, inclusive, democratic and integrated united Europe and the relative goal of extension of the present network between the national and international partners beyond the framework of “FOCUS” project.
Event 3 : from 02/06/2016 to 04/06/2016
The aim of the 3rd event (Three - day lab of expertise and know-how) was the highlight of social entrepreneurship and solidarity economy structures as an alternative to the financial and humanitarian crisis and a way out the deny of the most vulnerable and excluded people-victims of this crisis to play their role as active citizens and support the democratic idea of European Union. Emphasis was given to the areas of Social and Solidarity Entrepreneurship that involve Eurosceptics, youngsters, third country nationals, marginalised, underprivileged and disadvantaged persons, who totally reject the Union or have hard questions about its work and achievements in a period of rising anti-European political forces and movements, extremist or populist movements, deep frustration and loss of public confidence in the idea of European integration.
Event 4 : from 03/06/2016 to 07/06/2016
The aim of the event (Five - day lab of best practices) was the further promotion of different forms of Social and Solidarity Economy and Entrepreneurship such as Co-operatives, Worker-Owned Societies, Mutual Benefit Societies, Insertion Companies, Special Employment Centers, Guilds and Disability Associations in agricultural sector, tourism, retail and distribution, education and healthcare, Voluntary Organizations and Foundations of "public utility", Manufacturing services of waste collection, recycling, traffic control, etc., opposite to the great need to identify further ways in which to motivate citizens, particularly the young generation and foster generally the civic participation in democratic life inside the Europe.