Considering the recent publication of the Conference Results, it’s good to remember that on the 1st of July 2015 Ander Errasti and Cristina Astier (members of GISME -a multidisciplinary group linked to the University of Barcelona and one of the partners of the SIforAGE consortium) presented the SIforAGE Project during the Mid Term Conference of the European Project bEUcitizen. The event was held by the Zagreb University (Universitas Studiorum Zagrabiensis) in Zagreb and the main topic was European Citizenship, with a whole Work Package meeting dedicated to citizenship barriers (among which age is a key factor).
The bEUcitizen project has worked on the diverse features of the developing concept of European Citizenship. Nevertheless, according to their own description, twenty years after the EU introduced the concept of ‘European Citizenship’ in the Treaty of Maastricht, the European Commission proclaimed 2013 the ‘Year of European Citizenship’. This was done to draw additional attention to a perceived problem: why don’t Europeans realise their rights as European citizens? With the term ‘realise’ here being used to mean both being aware of these rights and demanding, using and thereby materialising them. This year, the European Commission also awarded a consortium of 26 institutes from 19 countries in and outside Europe, coordinated by Utrecht University, a major research grant to carry out a 4-year research project to study this problem. This multinational and multidisciplinary project entitled bEUcitizen, sets out to identify and analyse which impediments hinder European citizens from realising these rights and why.
Due to the fact that both bEUcitizen Project and SIforAGE Project work on improving the quality of life of older people through an active participation in society, the Communication Team of SIforAGE considered the Mid Term Conference of the bEUcitizen Project as a great opportunity to reinforce ties among people working on the same area as well as a perfect occasion to make people aware of SIforAGE project, its aims and scope.
The event helped to carry out mutual learning about both projects and perspectives and, in addition, many of the participants in the event showed their interest to become stakeholders of SIforAGE project as a way to join efforts and strengthen the promotion of an active and healthy ageing.