This project responds to the concerns of our organizations in Finland, Poland and Lithuania about increasing Euroscepticism. In particular, the distance from the EU, which is perceived by the most vulnerable citizens, has created a breeding ground for anti-EUism and the rise of extremism. This project takes seriously the subjective experiences and beliefs of the EU. The emerging themes are being prepared for dialogue and building a common understanding of the EU's role. The aim is to make the faceless EU-machinery more understandable and to open up new perspectives and even positive curiosity towards the EU.
In practice, this project trains participants in the participatory evaluation method. Each organization collects a total of 20 stories from their clients, what the EU has meant in their lives. Each organization selects three particular stories and justifies the choice. The executive team deals with the selected 12 stories and selects the most relevant ones and justifies the choice.
All stories are forwarded to a researcher, who classifies the stories thematically and raises key issues for joint discussion. The executive team meeting will explore the themes and their background from the researcher's presentation, while looking for new perspectives, to enable dialogue on the theme and develop a new understanding of it.
The results of the executive team's work are processed locally. Each NGO engages in dialogue with clients on the results of the executive team's work. The aim is to jointly develop a new understanding of the role and importance of the EU in people's daily lives. The project has been an effective learning process for all participants and thei networks about the EU. The final webinar is open for anyone and it will be produced as learning material.