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Innovative Europe

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Empowering business models with a social component, cross-sectorial cooperation for innovative policy solutions in order to increase the quality of life and participation especially of excluded groups.

Solidarity Europe

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Vigorously addressing negative tendencies caused by economic crisis such as youth unemployment, increasing xenophobia towards ethnic minorities and immigrants, lack of interest for sustainability issues.

Educated Europe

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Creating tools and policies in Education & Learning, Advocating, and building a knowledge-based society by creating new tools to empower non-formal and informal learning.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.58.21Press Release: The project: “A new form of Europeancitizenship in an era of migration”

80% of interviewed citizens in 15 countries of Europe consider him/herself “concerned” about illegal immigration. However, a percentage between 86 and 91% of interviewed is aware that migrants are exposed to being exploited by organised crime or in the frame of the labor market and only 20% consider the “total closure of borders”as a solution.

These are some of the results of an international survey implemented in the beginning of 2017 in 15 European Countries (Albania, Belgium,Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Spain) in the frame of a European project leaded by the Italian NGO “Fondazione Falcone”. The survey was conducted by University of Palermo (Italy) andUniversity of Valmiera (Latvia), involving some 3.800 citizens andresults were presented during an international meeting held at the University of Valmiera on 21-22 April 2017.

The aim of the survey was to explore the perception of migration inthe concerned countries, in order to explore how organized civil society can implement actions and activities to prevent or counter xenophobic or racist behaviors and promote co-operation between non-governmental organisations, institutions and research centers. Theproject is supported by the “Europe for citizens” program of the European Union and will last until April 2018.

The survey has shown also quite big differences in the perception, between different countries. For example, while only 1% of Portuguese or Spanish citizens consider closing border as a solution, 48% of Czech citizens see it as the best solution.

An interesting aspect of the survey, come from the perception of therelation between migration and organised crime. While 53% ofinterviewed persons, agrees on the idea that migration phenomenonincrease criminality, an even bigger percentage consider migrants asvictims of the criminality. 61% of interviewed considers indeed thatorganized crime recruits migrants due to their weaksocial/economical/living conditions. This data comes together with those related to the vulnerability ofspecific migrants groups: according to 61% of the statistic sample,migrants women are at risk of being exploited in labor market, as wellas 51% of the sample, consider child labor among migrants as awidespread phenomenon.

A surprising result of the survey comes from the question aboutpolitical priorities for national governments. Indeed, according to 31% of interviewed persons (the higherpercentage) “limitate immigration” is a political priority, coming before “combating organized crime” (20%), “Stop bank speculation”(19%), “Protect right of freedom and speech” (13%) and other issues.

According to researchers who analyzed the data: “The research is rich of interesting data showing that in concerned countries, besides being a widespread opinion that there is a relation between migration and organised crime, it is clear to the majority that this is related to the social vulnerability of migrants. Data give us the possibility to know general perception about migration and focus on relevant differences among countries, age and social groups and to understand the level of acceptance or rejection of a multicultural society.”

 

Why Out of the Box International

The seemingly ever-lasting depression of European economies has shaken the very foundations of many European societies. The shear rate of unemployment in Europe and the omnipresent environmental crisis coupled with the often frustratingly slow process of decision making in the EU, are calling for civil society actors to step in and fill the void.

In the aftermath of the 2008. economic crisis, the apprehension of falling under the spell of apathy of economic depression across the continent has not been easy to shake off. However, pinpointing the culprits for the current state of affairs on any particular EU decision maker is not the answer. Nonetheless the fact remains that the current approach to the economic and environmental crisis hasn’t yet shown the affected citizens the light at the end of the tunnel.

As representatives of the civil society we feel the need to make our voice heard in the midst of the current debate on economic crisis. Being a social enterprise we offer new and feasible ideas in education and community work, creative cross-sectorial cooperation among different actors and strong networking coalitions to turn these dire economic challenges into possibilities through social entrepreneurship initiatives which aim at benefiting wide range of citizens, particularly vulnerable groups and those affected by the economic crisis.

Social entrepreneurship is a simple concept that has been put into practice by civil society actors for the benefit of a specific social group or people, and this is precisely what we want: to create projects and initiatives with fresh ideas in different policies, educational programs or tools, support businesses, empower cultural initiatives and offer different solutions to individuals, corporate bodies, everybody who believe that we can have more Creative, Innovative and Cohesive Europe.

 

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