European citizens generally recognise the benefits of the EU and its contribution to Europe’s success and its standing in the world. However, European citizens feel somewhat alienated from the Union’s institutions and do not understand well how they function. This is partly due to a lack of effective communication between the EU and ordinary citizens. The ‘Together for Europe’ action tackles this issue.
Although most Europeans consider EU issues to be quite complex and distant, they believe in the Union’s democratic credentials. They would also like to see the Union becoming a more integral part of their national political landscapes. Nevertheless, millions of Europeans are held back from playing a more active role at EU level through a lack of knowledge: in fact, nearly four-fifths of citizens have admitted that they do not understand the structure of the EU and are unsure to whom they could turn with an issue or concern.
In order to help address these and other citizen concerns, and to bring citizens closer to the Union, the Commission has been working hard in recent years to provide better and more accessible information on Europe, with the aim of empowering citizens, engaging them in a debate on European issues and encouraging them to help shape the Union’s future.
This action seeks to deepen understanding of the concept of ‘active European citizenship’ so as to bring Europe closer to its citizens. This will be achieved through three sets of measures: