Democracy and participation, Social inclusion

A new narrative for the EU


Who is behind this?

Héctor Sánchez

Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB)


Who is joining forces?

local partner in UK

United Kingdom

local partner in Germany


local partner in Czech Republic


We also would like to have a local partner in Germany. We are still exploring the partnership with different institutions. CIDOB is currently exploring collaboration with partner organisations in France, Germany, UK and the Czech Republic. Potential partners are: Notre Europe, European Movement Germany, Centre for European Reform and Europeum, respectively.

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Why is the EU’s success story undergoing a profound crisis? Why have the EU’s achievements gone unnoticed by citizens? Why has the idea of Europe lost appeal? This project will be aimed at encouraging debate among European citizens to devise the building blocks of a new narrative for the EU. Representatives of older and younger generations will be brought together in focus group discussions to review the EU achievements and shortcomings and to update its narrative to reconnect with citizens.

Where will your idea take place?

Barcelona, Prague, London, Berlin and Paris

Why does Europe need your idea?

The EU needs to reconnect with its citizens at a time when the distance from the original narratives, associated to peace and wellbeing, widens. Peace is taken for granted and the economic crisis has undermined the social benefits and wellbeing of large parts of the population. Euroscepticism cannot further undermine the European project and reinforce current disintegration dynamics. A new idea of Europe will enable older and new generations to tackle the most fundamental debates of our time.

What is your impact?

We aim at gathering momentum for a new EU narrative, overcoming past clichés. At a time of profound crises (the long-lasting effects of the euro crisis, the Brexit referendum and the refugee crisis), Eurosceptic discourses are gaining momentum while counter-narratives are absent. Our new narrative will discuss at least 5 traditional EU dichotomies: welfare state vs. competitiveness; enlargement vs. integration; technocracy vs. democracy; freedom vs. security and global actor vs. bystander.

How do you get there?

We will foster discussions on a new narrative by listening to different generations of European citizens. One-day focus groups will be organised by partner institutions in each country (France, Germany, Czech Republic, UK and Spain). The participants of the focus groups will be divided by age, taking into account the date of accession of each country to the EU. The first focus group will comprise young people (between 20 and 35 years old) and the second will gather people ageing between 35 and 60 who played a meaningful role in the EU integration process. Both generations will be brought together in a final focus group to share and confront their narratives on the EU. A report, widely distributed, will gather the findings on the EU’s dichotomies and the ideas for a new EU narrative.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

We are targeting civil society groups of interdisciplinary and cross-generational backgrounds. The immediate stakeholders will be the participants of the focus groups who will work on devising a new European narrative. The end result will not only inform experts on European affairs but also have a multiplying effect by using traditional and social media. European citizenship as a whole will benefit from the ideas generated if they are to reinforce the European project.

What makes your idea stand apart?

Generational and geographical biases are currently undermining the idea of Europe. This project is unique because it brings together young citizens -who will play a key role in the EU’s future- and people who actively participated in the EU integration process. It also provides a platform for sharing narratives across Europe and to challenge a status quo grounded on disintegration dynamics. A new narrative also helps to reconnect citizens with the European project and to advocate for a better EU

€ 47677,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 47677,-

Total budget

Major expenses

The project expenses are related to organizing the one-day focus groups by each partner and the final in Barcelona. We have booked 8.240€ for travelling, including local participations travelling to focus groups and the final focus groups; 10.500€ for accommodation and subsistence for every focus group, including the final one in Barcelona and 28.000€ of personnel costs (including dissemination and publication) to be distributed among the partners. We have also booked 937€ for unforeseen costs.



Idea created on March 8, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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