Democracy and participation, Education, EU literacy

The European Civics Academy winner


Who is behind this?

Alberto Alemanno

The Good Lobby


Who is joining forces?

Access info Europe


European Alternatives




Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

The idea is a pan-European and traveling advocacy school empowering citizens to bring systemic change at local and EU level, acting alone or in tandem with civil society organisations. By building on the methodology designed by The Good Lobby, the School offers 2-day workshops aimed at training & connecting the participants with NGOs. The aim is foster new, unconventional forms of collaboration aimed at protecting & fostering the civic space both locally and transnationally.

Where will your idea take place?

Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia & Warsaw to then scale it up to more cities and countries

Why does Europe need your idea?

The European Civics Academy aims at educating a new generation of active European citizens on the avenues of participatory democracy that exist at different levels and training them to master tools of civic participation, such as lobbying techniques and strategies. European citizens will learn how to master 'the lobbying toolbox' and create connections with the different civil actors in their field of policy, thus to gain a voice in the public debate and increase pluralism. The aim is foster new, unconventional forms of collaboration aimed at protecting & fostering the civic space both locally and transnationally. Active citizens might be able to reinvigorate the process of European integration, bring more people in the policy process and thus contribute to the emergence of a transn democracy

What is your impact?

This project aims at increasing civic empowerment and spreading a culture of participatory democracy. Within year 1, we expect citizens to be more aware of the concrete avenues of public participation, and collaborate with local and transnational NGOs, in different European countries as well as at the EU level. We aim a training 500 citizens in 10 european countries, to monitor them after the training and support them in case they decide to take action and put in practice what they have learned during the Advocacy School, so to represent their point of view in the policy process. The ideal outcome is to stimulate a social movement of active citizens, that strategically challenges the status quo.

How do you get there?

1. Partnership with local NGOs, educational institutions, companies and other local actors;
2. Publish call & select participants with local partners to maximize diversity & bring together (often for the first time!) diverse local actors;
3. Skill-based workshop on advocacy skills combined with experiential learning: participants will launch local/cross-EU campaigns possibly supported by unconventional coalitions;
4. Evaluation of civic actions & impact on participants’ perceptions of the policy process;
5. Post training monitoring and mentorship to support activists who wants to start public interest advocacy.

What is your story?

I am an academic committed to equalizing political power and influence in Europe and beyond by mobilizing citizen experts and connecting to civil society. I have been involved in dozens of pan-European campaigns aimed at systemic change. Today I run The Good Lobby (TGL), the first organisation devoted to popularizing & democratizing the various channels of participatory democracy in Europe. During the years I have built a team of passionate volunteers that support the TGL’s mission. We connect experts and ordinary citizens with NGOs that need their pro bono advice to pursue their public interest missions. Hence, TGL was born to organise, train and facilitate connections among civic actors committed for the public good.

Who are you doing it for?

Main beneficiaries are citizens - be they professionals, academics, students, job-seekers or just concerned citizens - willing to gain a greater voice by working alone or in tandem with local NGOs. Also NGOs that engage in advocacy & other participatory mechanisms at local and EU level are going to benefit from the European Civics Academy. More in general, by paving the way for more citizens’ engagement and empowerment, public institutions and policy makers will benefit a lot from increased pluralism of the points of view represented and from higher awareness of the policy process itself.

What makes your idea stand apart?

The European Civics Academy leverages on the The Good Lobby’s methodology that has already been tested in 14 different countries and has trained more than 600 citizens to the practice of the ‘citizen lobbying’. The methodology enshrines: a) an illustration of the avenues of democratic participation existing both at the EU and local level; b) the practice of the essential lobbying strategies and tequiches in use in commercial lobbying practice; c ) a genuine connection with local and European civil actors to exchange practices and experiences of advocacy; d) the possibility to be part of a wider network of civil society organisations, professionals and academics committed in the public debate; e) guidance and support when an actual advocacy campaign starts.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 500000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding granted from Advocate Europe

Major expenses

See Excel file

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We would like to hear what the community thinks about the prospect of taking and offer EU activism workshops across Europe and learn what causes they would like to pursue afterwards.

Project Journey

No entries yet

Why this idea?

A diverse and colourful choir of opinions, ideas and joint solutions reflecting the interests and needs of citizens is key to the democratic process. Using a unique capacity-building approach, the European Civics Academy provides training for “citizens’ lobbying”. This one-day school enables groups and individuals who want to effect change to make their voice heard for the common good, to push for change and to navigate their issues in the policy context.



The Good Lobby


Idea created on Jan. 9, 2018
Last edit on Sept. 11, 2018

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