The budget proposed for the new Europe for Citizens Programme is of €229 million

The European Commission has published its proposal for the new Europe for Citizens’ programme that will run from 2014 to 2020. The Programme's aim is to increase citizens' awareness and understanding of the European Union. The Commission will thus focus in twinning, remembrance of Europe’s history and civil society debate about Europe.

The proposal for a new ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme has been adopted by the Commission. The Commission proposes for the Programme, that runs from 2014 to 2020 and has a budget of €229 million, to support activities to increase awareness and citizens' understanding of the EU, its values and history, such as the remembrance of Europe’s past and partnerships between cities (town-twinning). It will also help people become more engaged in civic and democratic activities through debates and discussions on EU-related issues.

The Commission highlights that thanks to the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme, civil society organisations can develop their capacity and mobilise citizens at the local level to debate issues that have an impact on their daily lives in a European context. They can also engage in transnational partnerships that lead to the exchange of best practices and to increased cooperation with the European institutions. Town twinning is a good example of how citizens learn from each other, respect each other and jointly develop local projects.

The current ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme (2007-2013) gives citizens the chance to participate in making Europe more united, to develop a European identity, to foster a sense of ownership of the EU, and to enhance tolerance and mutual understanding. According to Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, the new Programme should stimulate civil society debate about the EU as well as concrete projects which take place close to citizens, such as town twinning.