Europe is a multi-level governance system, and participation in European democracies starts at grassroots level. Yet every day news shows that policymakers are often remote from citizens’ daily considerations and that Europe is too often perceived as an elite project.
To turn this around, the FutureLab Europe programme encourages young Europeans in their active citizenship efforts in their communities. It offers them the chance to shape their environments by supporting them in the implementation of their own projects. At the same time, the programme connects young and active citizens who have a strong interest in matters of European relevance, like democracy and participation, equal opportunities for young people and European identity. Participants in FutureLab Europe develop their own ideas and positions, and take the necessary action to implement the resulting projects and the responsibility for doing so. At the same time, they use those projects to address specific messages to decision-makers.
FutureLab Europe is now a network of more than a hundred young Europeans from different corners of the continent. The network will continue to expand, drawing new participants every year. The programme is supported by seven European foundations coordinated through NEF and managed by the European Policy Centre, a leading Brussels-based think-tank dedicated to fostering European integration through analysis and debate.